Capital expenditure rises 6.1% in first quarter: Midday roundup

New private capital expenditure rose during the first quarter by a seasonally adjusted 6.1%, according to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

 

According to the figures, CAPEX rose by 6.1% to $40.002 billion in the March quarter, above market expectations of a 3.3% rise.

The second estimate for expenditure for 2012-13 is $172.9 billion, up 23.5% higher than the second estimate for 2011-12.

David Jones sales down

Sales at David Jones fell by about 3% in the three months to April and the department store is gearing up for a big end of financial year clearance.

David Jones announced today that its total sales in the quarter to April 28 were $399.8 million, down 2.9% on the previous corresponding period.

David Jones’ share price fell 1.8% to $2.21 as a result.

Chief executive Paul Zahra said sales in the first few weeks of the fourth quarter had followed the same trend as third-quarter sales.

”June and July are the major contributors to sales in (the fourth quarter) and, given our experience last year, we feel it is imperative that the promotional activity during this period be highly distinguishable from other promotional events throughout the year,” he said.

Australian dollar falls to seven-month low

The Australian dollar has fallen to its lowest point since early October, on continued fears Spain will need a bailout.

At 11.04 AEST, the local unit was trading at US96.83 cents, down from 97.93 cents on Wednesday.
The Aussie dollar has hit a low of 96.72 cents in today’s trade, its lowest point in seven months.

Stock markets fall 1.3%

The Australian stock market opened lower after Wall Street fell more than 1% and major European markets lost closer to 2% overnight.

At the market open, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index fell 1.30% to 4,040.6 points and the broader All Ordinaries Index declined 1.25% to 4,096.7 points.

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