Local sectors flat after losses in Europe, Asia

The Australian market was flat today following losses in Europe and Asia.

Local resources, metals and mining, materials, consumer staples and consumer discretionary sectors improved, while energy, healthcare, financials and telecommunication services declined.

The S&P/ASX200 was up just 0.10% to 4342.30. The All Ordinaries Index was also flat, at 0.08% up to 4425.60.

The day’s winners

Macmahon Holdings (ASX: MAH) rose 5.56% to $0.855 at 3pm after announcing it had been awarded a $50 million contract for ERA’s diamond drilling program. Macmahon is a construction and contract mining company with major projects in Australia, in New Zealand, Asia, Mongolia and Africa.

Coalspur Mines (ASX: CPL) was up 6.13% to $1.645 at 3.20pm. The coal miner has more than  40,500 hectares of coal leases in Alberta, Canada. It today released a positive feasibility study to the ASX on its Vista coal project. The project has the potential to be the biggest in Canada, as the coal is close to the surface and is close to an existing rail line.

The day’s losers

Goodman Group (ASX: GMG) was down 2.78% to $0.70 at 3pm.

Mirabela Nickel (ASX: MBN) plummeted 10.71% to $0.625 at 3pm after losing more than 10% yesterday.

Sector movers

The strongest sector was the S&P/ASX 200 Materials index which was up 1.10% to 11029.7 at 3.30pm.

The weakest sectorwas the S&P/ASX 200 A-REIT (Property Sector) which was down 0.88% to 14213.90.

Currency

The Australian dollar rose slightly from this morning. One Australian dollar was buying $US1.0398 at 3.30pm. Some traders have warned it could be back down to parity with the US dollar soon, according to Business Spectator.

Asian markets

Japan’s NIKKEI 225 was down 0.53%, or 53.34 points, to 10061.50.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 121.95 points to 20487.40.

Asian financial markets followed Europe down today, and are on track for the first monthly loss since November last year.

Japanese manufacturers fell after the nation’s industrial production declined and investors waited for US data on income and spending due tonight. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index is heading for a 1.8% decline this month.

“Equity markets have been softer globally and that may be stoking some risk aversion,” Kengo Suzuki told Bloomberg. Suzuki is a foreign-exchange strategist in Tokyo at Mizuho Securities, a unit of Japan’s third-largest bank by market value. “The yen is being bought in a bid for safety.”

Hong Kong developers fell after investigators arrested well-known brothers Thomas and Raymond Kwok of Sun Hung Kai Properties in one of the highest-profile corruption cases in decades. Rafael Hui, a former number two official in the government, was also arrested, according to Bloomberg.

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