Aust share market lower at noon

Australian stocks fell at noon as investors engaged in profit taking after recent rallies.

CMC Markets chief strategist Ric Spooner said earnings on the Australian market had been above the long term average for some time and combined with steadying interest rates, meant investors were keen to take some profits.

"That really left the stage open for profit taking," he said.

Mr Spooner said the European Central Bank deal to bail out debt-ridden Cyprus, which was struck on Monday, was expected and had already been factored into the Australian market.

There were losses across the board at noon, but the materials sector was hit hardest.

Rio Tinto plunged $1.14 to $57.11, BHP Billiton dived 44 cents to $32.96 and Fortescue dropped 6.5 cents to $3.815.

The four major banks also posted losses.

National Australia Bank fell 18.5 cents to $30.665, ANZ tumbled 33 cents to $28.50, Commonwealth Bank lost 57 cents to $68.43 and Westpac dropped 33 cents to $30.68.

Kathmandu shares dropped one cent to $1.955 despite the adventure retailer reporting a 72.7 per cent increase in profit.

In economics news on Tuesday, Reserve Bank of Australia governor Glenn Stevens is due to speak at the Australian Securities and Investments Commission annual forum in Sydney.

KEY FACTS

* At 1200 AEDT on Tuesday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 39.3 points, or 0.79 per cent, at 4,950.9 points.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was down 36.7 points, or 0.73 per cent, at 4,964.8 points.

* The June share price index futures contract was down 47 points at 4,957 points, with 15,801 contracts traded.

* National turnover was 929.5 million securities worth $1.35 billion.

Market Data

  • Currencies
    Currencies
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.9327-0.0005-0.05%
    AUDUSD=X
    0.5555-0.0003-0.05%
    AUDGBP=X
    0.6753-0.0003-0.05%
    AUDEUR=X
  • Commodities
    Commodities
    NamePriceChange% Chg