Local stocks are reversing some of yesterday's spectacular gains, pulled back by weakness in offshore markets overnight. European markets ended mixed despite Greece's pro-bailout New Democracy party claiming victory in the weekend poll, as Spanish borrowing costs jumped pressuring markets. A rally on US Markets was limited as investors feared the Euro debt crisis would continue to worsen. At lunchtime in the East, the broader All Ordinaries Index (XAO) is down 17.8pts or 0.4pct to 4166.1.
A trader enters an order by a post that sells JP Morgan Chase stock on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
In breaking news, the Federal Court in Melbourne has today formally approved Australia's biggest ever settlement in a class action, a $200 million deal for Centro shareholders. About 6000 investors of the property group will receive the funds from Centro and its auditor PriceWaterhouseCoopers. The settlement brings to an end more than four years of complex litigation, with investors successfully claiming that Centro and its subsidiary Centro Retail Group (CRF), had engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct for not disclosing they had at least $3 billion of interest-bearing debt falling due within a year. The claimants included some mum and dad investors who lost their life savings, as well as large financial institutions. CRF shares are up 0.5pct to $2.01.
On the share market, energy stocks are under the most pressure, with the sector down 1.5pct. Financial stocks are mixed with the National Australia Bank (NAB) up 0.6pct to $22.96 and the ANZ (ANZ) down 0.8pct to $21.63.
Shares in publisher Fairfax (FXJ) are losing ground following yesterday's rally, off 5.4pct to $0.615. Unions are meeting with workers at Fairfax printers in Sydney and Melbourne today to discuss the nature and extent of lob losses.
Board minutes from the Reserve Bank's June meeting have been released today and show the decision to cut interest rates this month by a further 25 basis points was "finely balanced" but needed due to global events.
The Australian dollar remains strong across the board and at 12.25pm AEST is worth US101.24c, £0.6454 and €80.33c.
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