Local sector defies Wall Street losses: Afternoon market insights

The Australian market rose today, despite losses on Wall Street and Europe overnight, and Asian equity losses during the day. All Australian industry sectors lifted – including gold, finance, IT, telecommunications and energy.

The S&P/ASX200 was up 0.85% to 4337.80. The All Ordinaries Index rose 0.77% to 4425.60.

The day’s winner

Southern Cross Media (ASX:SXL) improved 5.51 % to $1.34 at 3.30pm. The country’s leading regional media provider, has a potential audience of 7.5 million people.

The day’s losers

Nufarm (ASX: NUF) dropped  5.54% to $4.685 after a correction to its results yesterday showed high expenses in its South American crop protection products business.

Mirabela Nickel (ASX:MBN) was down 5.41% to $0.70 at 3pm today.

Sector movers

The strongest sector was the All Ordinaries Gold (Sub Industry) index, which was up 1.57% to 6161.6 at 3.40pm.

The weakest sector today was the S&P/ASX 200 Utilities (Sector) which was up only 0.05% to 4838.10.

Currency

The Australian dollar was down today on fears China’s slightly lower growth forecast for 2012 may impact on the currency’s value. One Australian dollar was buying $US1.0 42 at 2.40pm today.

Asian markets

Japan’s NIKKEI 225 was down 1.11% to 10141.40.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 199.25 points to 20847.70.

Late this afternoon, the Shanghai Composite Index had retreated 1.5% and South Korea’s Kospi Index lost 0.4%. Several Chinese companies reported lower profits as the world’s second biggest economy slows.

Jiangxi Copper fell 1.9% in Hong Kong. China’s biggest producer of the metal recorded an 18% decline in second-half profit as slower economic growth curbed demand. Gome, China’s second-biggest electronics retailer, lost 17% after 2011 profit fell 6%.

“Investors had expected earnings to be weak but they are still below expectations,” Larry Wan, the Beijing-based head of investment at Union Life Asset Management, told Bloomberg.

“Shares have already risen quite a bit this year on monetary easing expectations.”

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