Local share market concerned over US interest rate increase

The local share market was hit by concerns about more interest rate rises in the United States.

Minutes from the latest policy meeting of the US Federal Reserve indicated the Fed could raise interest rates next month if economic data is firmer.

Miners and energy stocks were sold off as commodity prices fell because of the higher greenback.

BHP Billiton lost nearly 4 per cent or 72 cents to $18.71. Woodside Petroleum dropped 1 per cent to $27.00.

The banks were mainly higher, with Westpac rising 15 cents to $30.14.

The All Ordinaries Index fell two-thirds of a per cent or 35-points to 5,386. The ASX 200 dropped 33 points to 5,323.

The market fell further after figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed the jobless rate stayed steady at 5.7 per cent in April on a seasonally-adjusted basis.

That was seen as reducing the chance of a rate cut by the Reserve Bank next month.

James Hardie said net profit fell 16 per cent to $245 million for the 2016 financial year because of a stronger greenback and a higher tax bill.

Its shares jumped 6 per cent to $20.12 on a share buyback program and a positive outlook.

Electronics retailer JB Hi-Fi is in talks with home appliance chain The Good Guys about a takeover.

JB Hi-Fi shares rose 3.3 per cent to $23.63.

Spot gold fell to about $US1,254 an ounce as the US dollar rose, and West Texas Crude oil slipped to just above $US48 a barrel on increasing production.

The Australian dollar dropped below 72 US cents after the likelihood of a rate-cut next month faded.

At about 5pm AEST it was buying about 72.15 US cents, 49.45 British pence, 64.29 Euro cents, 79.55 Japanese yen and nearly $NZ1.07.

Source: ABC News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *