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Aussie shares fall; S&P/ASX 200 down 0.11%

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Australian shares closed lower today with the S&P/ASX 200 down 0.11 per cent.

The S&P/ASX 200 lost 4.7 points, or 0.11 per cent, to 4262.7.

The All Ords was 3.3 points, or 0.08 per cent, lower to 4351.2.

In mining today, BHP Billiton lost $0.07, or 0.2 per cent, to $35.75 and Rio Tinto was $0.30, or 0.45 per cent, higher to $67.70.

In financials, ANZ lost $0.20, or 0.91 per cent, to $21.88, CBA took off $0.29, or 0.59 per cent, to $49.15, NAB dropped $0.20, or 0.85 per cent, to $23.29 and Westpac was $0.03, or 0.14 per cent, lower to $20.68.

In energy, Woodside Petroleum took off $0.26, or 0.7 per cent, to $36.90, Santos gained $0.02, or 0.14 per cent, to $14.02 and Oil Search increased $0.02, or 0.29 per cent, to $6.97.

And in retail, Woolworths took off $0.05, or 0.2 per cent, to $24.95 and Wesfarmers dropped $0.32, or 1.1 per cent, to $28.80.

In news, QBE reported net income fell 45 per cent to US$704 million in 2011 compared with a year earlier. The company was in a trading halt as it undertakes a US$500 million capital raising. CEO Frank O’Halloran will also step down and will be replaced by John Neal. Shares were last at $11.50.

James Hardie Industries reported net operating profit increased 32 per cent to US$27.7 million in its third quarter. Shares lost $0.32, or 4.24 per cent, to $7.23.

And Boral reported net income for the half year ended 31 December 2011 rose 65 per cent to $153 million. Shares fell $0.12, or 2.73 per cent, to $4.28.

To Asia, the Nikkei was 28.67 points, or 0.3 per cent, higher to 9662.6 and the Hang Seng had put on 235.98 points, or 1.11 per cent, to 21,435.84.

The Australian dollar was buying 107.76 US cents, 68.02 pence Sterling, 80.21 euro cents and 86.53 Japanese yen. 

Published on: Wednesday, February 29, 2012

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