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Shares down on lacklustre overseas markets

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The Australian share market has opened lower as weak iron ore prices continue to weigh on mining stocks.

The market is expected to drift today due to a lack of drivers, Lonsec senior client adviser Michael Heffernan said.

“There was no major impulse for the market to go up today with overseas markets being very lacklustre over the weekend,” he said.

“Iron ore prices are very soft and it’s just going down. There won’t be any major resurgence from the resource stocks that are heavily into iron ore.”

Another retailer, Super Retail Group, has downgraded its profit forecast, blaming the tough federal budget for a slip in sales last month.

Its shares were down nine cents to $7.96 at 1025 AEST.

Engineering and property services group UGL was 11 cents lower at $6.83 after saying it had sold its real estate business DTZ for $1.2 billion to a consortium that includes private equity giant TPG.

Among the major miners, BHP was up two cents at $35.31, Rio Tinto was down 27 cents at $57.33 and iron ore miner Fortescue Metals lost nine cents to $3.97.

The major banks were down, with National Australia Bank losing 19 cents to $33.02, Commonwealth Bank falling 43 cents to $81.30, ANZ shedding four cents to $33.71 and Westpac dropping 20 cents to $34.06.

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