Chinese growth fears worry investors: Afternoon market insights

The Australian market fell soon after opening and finished down amid worries about weaker short-term Chinese growth figures. Most miners were down. Continuing weak consumer demand saw investors sell off Australian retailers.

The S&P/ASX200 was down by 0.39% or 14.5 points to 4276.70. The All Ordinaries Index dropped 0.39% or 17.1 points to 4348.80.

The day’s winners

Abacus Property (ASX: ABP) was up 4.01 % to $1.997 at 3.25pm. Abacus is a diversified property group that specialises in investing and closely managing opportunities across Australia’s commercial property markets.

Beach Energy (ASX: BPT) was up 3.56 % to $1.60 on high volumes at 3.15pm. Beach energy is a long established oil and gas exploration and production company based in Adelaide, South Australia who announced its first oil production from its North Shadwan concession a week ago. The offshore well is in the Gulf of Suez, Egypt.

The day’s loser

Retailer David Jones (ASX: DJS) was down 10.62% to $2.44 at 3.30pm after a trading halt and feverish media speculation on Monday and Tuesday forced the chairman to issue a press release supporting the CEO, Paul Zahra. A strategy paper, released this morning, did nothing to reassure investors after a plunge in profit.

Sector movers

The strongest sector was the S&P/ASX 200 Telecommunication Services (Sector) index which was up 0.37% or 4.1 points to 1107.8.

The biggest sector loser was the All Ordinaries Gold (Sub-Industry) which fell 1.20% or 73.6 points to 6043.00.

Currency

The Australian dollar fell today on news of a weaker Chinese economy.  One Australian dollar was buying $US 1.0485 this afternoon at 3.30pm.

Asian markets

Japan – NIKKEI 225 was down 0.57% or 57.42 points down to 10084.60.

Hong Kong – Hang Seng was also in the red 0.40%, down 84.22 points to 20804.00.

Asian equities declined for a second straight day on housing price bubble concerns and forecasts of lower car sales in China.

“People are starting to realize that things are not as great as initially thought,” Lee King Fuei, a Singapore-based fund manager at Schroders, which oversees about $326 billion of assets globally told Bloomberg. “There’s a risk of much slower growth in China should bad debts climb and banks raise capital or restrict lending.”

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