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Market report: Trading follows weak US lead

Markets

The Australian share market has opened slightly lower in the wake of a weak lead from US markets.

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Phillip Capital senior client adviser Michael Heffernan said the open to trading had been fairly soft.

“It’s a bit maudlin,” he said.

“There don’t seem to be any real major moves at the moment. We haven’t got much data coming out, certainly not in Australia.”

At 1022 AEST on Thursday, National Australia Bank had eased nine cents to $28.79, Westpac had fallen $1.17 to $30.14 as it traded ex dividend, ANZ had reversed 15 cents to $24.28, and Commonwealth Bank gave away 12 cents at $77.87.

A small lift in commodity prices helped global miner BHP Billiton, which was up three cents at $18.58.

Rio Tinto climbed 43 cents to $46.44, and Fortescue Metals jumped 15.5 cents to $3.065.

Oil and gas producer Woodside Petroleum had gained 51 cents at $26.96, and Santos had lifted 10 cents to $4.16.

Department store operator Myer surged 10 cents, or 8.89 per cent, to $1.225 as it reconfirmed its full-year guidance after third-quarter revenue rose 2.1 per cent to $675.5 million.

Energy company AusNet Services scraped off one cent to $1.61 despite posting a sharp jump in annual profit.

Gaming machine supplier and social gaming firm Aristocrat Leisure rose $1.31, or 12.49 per cent, to $11.80 after upgrading its profit guidance.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered its worst day since February – falling 1.21 per cent – as feeble quarterly reports from Walt Disney, Macy’s and Fossil undermined confidence across the consumer sector.

KEY FACTS:

* At 1031 AEST on Thursday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 30.5 points, or 0.57 per cent, at 5,341.8 points.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was down 27.9 points, or 0.51 per cent, at 5,406.9 points.

* The June share price index futures contract was down 22 points at 5,338 points, with 9,020 contracts traded.

* National turnover was 604.5 million securities traded, worth $660.3 million.

AAP

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