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ANZ and NAB cut rates; Australian shares close lower

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Published on: Friday, December 09, 2011

Australian shares closed lower today after a mixed close on Wall Street overnight and as Australia’s unemployment rate rose.

The S&P/ASX 200 lost 11.8 points, or 0.27 per cent, to 4280.7.

The All Ords dropped 12.4 points, or 0.28 per cent, to 4338.9.

In news, the unemployment rate rose 0.1 percentage points to 5.3 per cent in November, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The number of people employed in November rose by 6300. Full-time employment fell by 39,900 and part-time employment rose 33,600.

To financials, ANZ today cut its standard variable rate by 25 basis points this afternoon, matching the Reserve Bank’s cut on Tuesday. NAB also cut its standard variable rate by 0.25 per cent late this afternoon. ANZ shares lost $0.11, or 0.52 per cent, to $21.13 and NAB gained $0.21, or 0.86 per cent, to $24.61.

CBA was $0.49, or 0.98 per cent, lower to $49.68 and Westpac fell $0.08, or 0.37 per cent, to $21.53.

Among the major miners, BHP Billiton fell $0.03, or 0.08 per cent, to $36.99 and Rio Tinto dropped $0.16, or 0.24 per cent, to $66.09.

To energy, Woodside Petroleum took off $0.76, or 2.26 per cent, to $32.90, Oil Search was $0.02, or 0.31 per cent, lower to $6.48 and Santos dropped $0.52, or 3.85 per cent, to $13.

And in retail, Woolworths shaved off $0.01, or 0.04 per cent, to $25.68 and Wesfarmers lost $0.09, or 0.28 per cent, to $31.91.

To Asia, the Nikkei had lost 57.53 points, or 0.66 per cent, to 8664.64 and the Hang Seng dropped 148.32, or 0.77 per cent, to 19,092.26.

The Australian dollar was buying 102.64 US cents, 65.36 pence Sterling, 76.55 euro cents and 79.71 Japanese yen.


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