Local market flatlines despite mining gains

The share market flatlined today in line with Wall Street, as gains in mining and utility shares offset falls in health stocks.

The All Ordinaries rose one point to 4,593 but the ASX 200 lost one point, to close at 4,583, with results evenly split - half the stocks on that index rose, while the remainder closed flat or dropped.

Investors appeared unmoved by the announcement of .

The banking sector was in focus today as two of Australia's top four banks held their annual general meetings on opposite sides of the country.

NAB shares fell 0.25 per cent to $24.60 as it held its annual general meeting in Perth; Westpac went the other way, up a third of a per cent.

Its chairman, Lindsay Maxted, attacked calls for more regulation of Australia's banks.

Mr Maxted said Australia's banks did not need to hold more funds in reserve in case of a crisis and rejected suggestions they were under-capitalised.

Media shares were also in the spotlight; Fairfax Media surged more than 11 per cent to close at 54 cents and its shares were the second most traded on the benchmark index.

Shares in Southern Cross Media fell 0.5 per cent on the day the .

The probe will examine wither the station has met its licence conditions and complied with the industry code of conduct.

Shares in Graincorp closed down two-thirds of a per cent at $12.30.

Australia's last independent grain handler rejected a sweetened takeover offer of $2.8 billion from its US suitor.

Graincorp says US food giant Archer Daniels Midland's (ADM) revised offer of $12.20 a share still "materially undervalues" the company.

ADM says it is now considering what to do with its 19.9 per cent stake in the company.

And BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto saw solid gains, up 0.7 and 0.9 of a per cent respectively.

The Fed's stimulus announcement weakened the US dollar and sent the Australian currency to a three-month high against the greenback.

At 5:30pm (AEDT) the Australian dollar was buying 105.5 US cents, 80.7 euro cents, 88.3 Japanese yen and 65.4 British pence.

Spot gold was lower at $US1,699 an ounce, West Texas crude oil edged up to $US86.30 a barrel and Tapis crude was also higher at $US114.90 a barrel.

Market Data

  • Currencies
    Currencies
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.9326-0.0043-0.45%
    AUDUSD=X
    0.5554-0.0023-0.41%
    AUDGBP=X
    0.6751-0.003-0.45%
    AUDEUR=X
  • Commodities
    Commodities
    NamePriceChange% Chg