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AMP reports; Aussie shares lower

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Published on: Thursday, February 18, 2010

Australian shares were lower 12:15pm as companies continued to report earnings. Wall Street gained overnight.

The S&P/ASX 200 lost 31.9 points or 0.68 per cent to 4,636.

The All Ords dropped 28.7 points or 0.61 per cent to 4,658.1.

By industry, energy lost 48.8 points or 0.33 per cent, materials were 158.4 points or 1.3 per cent lower and financials dropped 32.8 points or 0.71 per cent.

Among the major miners, BHP Billiton lost $0.49 or 1.18 per cent to $40.90 and Rio Tinto was $0.71 or 0.97 per cent lower to $72.21.

The Big Four banks were all lower. ANZ took off $0.13 or 0.59 per cent to $21.94, Westpac lost $0.34 or 1.34 per cent to $25.09, CBA dropped $0.35 or 0.66 per cent to $52.83 and NAB fell $0.13 or 0.5 per cent to $25.78. Macquarie Group dropped $0.31 or 0.66 per cent to $46.99. Suncorp-Metway was $0.14 or 1.52 per cent lower to $9.10.

AMP announced full year 2009 net profit of $739 million, up 27.4 per cent from $580 million in 2008 due to improved investment returns. Shares lost $0.10 or 1.59 per cent to $6.17.

In energy, Santos reported net profit for calendar 2009 of $434 million, compared with $1.7 billion, which included a $1.2 billion profit from a stake in the GLNG project to Petronas. Guidance for 2010 was remained unchanged. Shares were $0.18 or 1.32 per cent lower to $13.43.

Woodside Petroleum fell $0.24 or 0.55 per cent to $43.76. Oil Search was $0.02 or 0.38 per cent lower to $5.26. Origin dropped $0.03 or 0.18 per cent to $16.51.

Among the retailers, Woolworths shaved off $0.02 or 0.08 per cent to $26.10 and Wesfarmers lost $0.27 or 0.91 per cent to $29.38.

And Qantas announced statutory net profit before tax for the six months to 31 December of $90 million, compared with $288 million in the same period a year earlier. The airline said it would not pay an interim dividend. Shares plummeted $0.20 or 6.73 per cent to $2.77.

Virgin Blue was $0.02 or 3.1 per cent lower to $0.62.

To Asia, and the Nikkei was 11.9 points or 0.12 per cent lower to $10,294.9.

The Australian dollar was buying 89.63 US cents, 57.19 pence Sterling, 65.98 Euro cents and 81.62 Japanese yen. 


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