Local shares flat after negative overseas lead: Afternoon market insights

The Australian market was flat today after mixed results. The lead from Wall Street and Europe was negative overnight, and Asian markets dragged down during the day, but the Australian market held firm against the global headwinds.  The healthcare, financial and energy sectors held their heads above water with rises, with losses in the metals, mining and materials sectors.

The S&P/ASX200 was flat at 0.08% down to 4270.20. The All Ordinaries Index was down 0.11% or 4.9 points to 4360.00.

The day’s winners

Industrea (ASX: IDL) was up 7.65% to $1.055 at 3.15pm. Based in Queensland, the company provides mining products and services across the world to mining giants such as BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto Coal, Anglo American, BMA, Barrick Gold, Vale, Xstrata and several of China’s leading mining groups. The big rise in value comes after Macquarie Bank sold a substantial shareholding in the company just over a week ago.

QBE Insurance (ASX: QBE) was trading up 4.32% to $14.50 at 3.25pm on big volumes. QBE is an insurance group based in Sydney.

The day’s losers

Resolute Mining (ASX: RSG) was down 5.53% to $1.795 at 3.30pm amid continuing woes for gold miners.

Sector movers

The strongest sector was the S&P/ASX 200 Healthcare (Sector) index which was up 1.27% or 105.1 points to 8403.3.  The biggest sector loser was the S&P/ASX 300 Metals and mining (Sector) which fell 1.39% or 54.1 points to 3835.80.

Currency

The Australian dollar weakened slightly, with one Australian dollar was buying $US1.0398 this at 3.40pm.

Asian markets

Japan’s NIKKEI 225 was down 1.10% or 111.52 points down to 10015.60.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was also down 0.96% or 200.05 points to 20701.50.

Asian equities were down, the worst weekly fall of the year on continued concern about the world’s second-biggest economy – China. The middle kingdom’s third-biggest bank reported a fall in profits. In Japan the Nikkei 225 Stock Average was headed for its steepest drop in two months.

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