$A holds above US77c as share market dips
Published on: Monday, March 20, 2017
The Australian dollar has managed to stay above the 77 US cents level as the US dollar weakened but the local share market is lower after an uninspiring lead from US markets on Friday.
AxiTrader chief market strategist Greg McKenna said the Aussie dollar was getting support from a relatively weak US dollar.
"Though the bounce was a reflection of US dollar weakness, the Aussie is also getting a double-whammy benefit from high commodity prices," Mr McKenna said.
The Australian dollar was trading at 77.24 US cents at 1700 AEDT, from 76.82 US cents at Friday's close.
Meanwhile, CMC Markets chief market analyst Ric Spooner said the share market had "a down day", with some retail stocks well in the red.
"The drivers are probably a bit of negativity from a slightly weaker US market, and probably domestic factors," Mr Spooner said.
In the US on Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.1 per cent and the S&P 500 lost 0.13 per cent as investors await details of US President Donald Trump's promises of tax cuts.
Mr Spooner said some retailers were hit hard in the wake of reports on how much market share online retailing giant Amazon could take in Australia.
Electronics and homewares retailer Harvey Norman fell to its lowest level since July, 2016.
"The consumer and discretionary sectors have had a poor day, being driven, I think, by concerns about the impact that Amazon may have on some of the traditional bricks-and-mortar retailers, with news about Amazon's improving market share," Mr Spooner said
Harvey Norman slumped 39 cents, or 8.21 per cent, to $4.36.
Electronics retailer JB Hi-Fi lost 70 cents, or 2.8 per cent, to $23.99, and outdoor adventure gear retailer Kathmandu slipped 2.5 cents to $1.775.
The major mining and energy stocks were mixed.
Oil and gas producers Woodside and Santos lost ground on concerns about the global demand-supply balance for crude oil and pressure on local producers to firm supplies to the domestic market.
Global miner BHP Billiton lifted 0.16 per cent but Rio Tinto eased O.86 per cent.
Among the major banks, ANZ, Westpac and Commonwealth Bank were slightly weaker but National Australia Bank was firmer.
Share in SEEK rose 22 cents, or 1.49 per cent to $14.96 after the online jobs portal boosted its ownership of its online education joint venture with Swinburne University of Technology.
ON THE ASX:
* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 was down 20.7 points, or 0.36 per cent to 5,778.9 points.
* The broader All Ordinaries index was down 20.3 points, or 0.35 per cent to 5,820.5 points.
* The SPI200 futures contract was down 18 points, or 0.31 per cent, at 5,765 points at 1630 AEDT.
* National turnover was 2.7 billion securities traded worth $3.9 billion.
CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1700 AEDT:
One Australian dollar buys:
* 77.24 US cents, up from 76.82 US cents on Friday
* 86.977 Japanese yen, down from 87.09 yen
* 71.76 euro cents, up from 71.32 euro cents
* 62.31 British pence, up from 62.18 pence
* 109.55 New Zealand cents, down from 109.91 NZ cents
The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1700 AEDT was $US1,233.70 per fine ounce, up $US6.80 from $US1,226.90 on Friday.
BOND SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEDT:
* CGS 5.25 per cent March 2019, 1.7959pct, down from 1.825pct
* CGS 4.25pct April 2026, 2.7559pct, down from 2.803pct
Sydney Futures Exchange prices:
* June 2017 10-year bond futures contract at 97.135 (implying a yield of 2.865pct), up from 97.095 (2.905pct) at Friday's close
* June 2017 3-year bond futures contract at 97.94 (2.06pct), up from 97.920 (2.080pct)
(*Currency closes taken at 1700 AEDT previous local session, bond market closes taken at 1630 AEDT previous local session)
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