Australia follows China's lead with share market slide

It is hard to say exactly what caused today's share market slide.

There was no particularly alarming economic news out, but the Chinese share markets were heading south so perhaps we were just copying them.

The Shanghai Composite was down nearly 3 per cent, which makes it almost 25 per cent for January.

To put things in perspective, the Australian market is off by 7 per cent for the month.

The All Ordinaries ended 56 points down, at 5,001 and the benchmark ASX 200 closed 60 points down at 4,946.

Inflation came out a bit higher than expected, meaning action on official interest rates next week is even less likely.

The ABS said smoking and holidays are costing us more, while petrol, phones, and fruit, are costing less.

The big banks were all down by about 2 per cent, except for NAB which lost 3 per cent.

NAB shareholders today voted to spin-off the trouble-plagued Clydesdale Bank.

The energy sector lost about 2 per cent.

Woodside shed 43 cents to $25.00 and Oil Search lost 29 cents to $6.

Drillsearch shareholders voted to merge with Beach Energy, with Drillsearch losing .007 of one cent to 49 cents.

Beach Energy lost two cents to 39 cents.

The biggest loser on the market was Network Ten, down 19 cents to $1.30.

Also GUD, the company that owns Sunbeam appliances, announced a 90 per cent fall in profits to just 1.7 million. Its stocks lost 77 cents to $7.13.

The Australian dollar spiked on the inflation data but spent the rest of the day meandering downwards. Around 5:00pm AEDT it was buying 70.3 US cents.

Gold was higher at $US1,119 an ounce, West Texas Intermediate Crude was slightly higher at $US29.41 a barrel and iron ore was lower at $US40.80 a tonne.

Source: ABC News

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