Construction falls sharply in September: Midday roundup
Friday, October 5, 2012/
The latest Australian Industry Group Australian Performance of Construction Index shows the national construction sector contracted at its sharpest rate in 12 months in September.
The seasonally adjusted index declined by 1.3 points to 30.9 in September, with readings below 50 indicating a contraction in the industry and the distance from 50 indicative of the strength of the decline.
Australian Industry Group chief economist Julie Toth said new orders and employment measures are yet to show a meaningful turning point but should hopefully be supported by this week’s welcome rate cut decision.
“This month’s Australian PCI tallies with the trends being seen in national ABS building approvals data, which are still exceedingly weak,” she said.
Woolworths spins off property holdings
Woolworths has unveiled a plan to create a real estate investment trust using some of its existing shopping centre assets.
The new group will be called Shopping Centres Australasia Property Group and will be created via an in-specie distribution to shareholders.
“All but one of the properties have been developed or redeveloped by Woolworths and a Woolworths Group business is the anchor tenant for each property,” the company said in a statement.
Bank of Queensland reduces earnings guidance
The Bank of Queensland has reduced its guidance, announcing the change to the ASX this morning.
In a statement, BOQ said a review of the business had uncovered $10 million in outstanding items. It now expects a full year loss of between $20.6 million and $15.6 million.
That figure is an improvement from $90.6 million for the first half of the year.
The bank also said it had lifted provisions for bad debts to $15 million.
Shares higher after positive offshore lead
The Australian sharemarket has opened higher this morning following a good lead from Wall Street, which was boosted by encouraging labour market data.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 27 points or 0.6% to 4479.4 at 12.05 AEST, while in the United States, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 80 points or 0.6% to 13,575.4.