The Australian share market made a modest gain today, in a week in which investor sentiment was impacted by a sharp sell-down in the gold price, worries about Chinese economic growth and a downgrade for global growth from the International Monetary Fund. The All Ordinaries Index (XAO) added 0.2% today, but was down 1.9% on the week.
A man looks at a display board showing stock market prices inside a brokerage in Taipei May 25, 2010.
Mining giant BHP Billiton (BHP) which suffered big falls this week, gained 2.5% today to close at $31.40. Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) was up 9.9% while a rebound in the gold price saw Newcrest Mining (NCM) firmer by 4.8% to $16.65. NCM shares fell 15% on the week.
It's been a tough week for holders of gold stocks, with the price of the precious metal down 11% from last Friday. CBA Commodity Analyst Lachlan Shaw has downgraded short to medium term gold forecasts in light of the sell-down. CBA now expects gold for FY2013 to hold around US$1604 an ounce, down 3% from previous forecasts. FY2014 forecasts have been reduced by 19% to US$1371 an ounce and FY2015 prices have also been lowered by 19% to US$1352.
In economic news, economy-wide spending rose for the seventh straight month in trend terms in March according to the Commonwealth Bank Business Sales Indicator (BSI). The BSI rose by 0.4 per cent after lifting by 0.7 per cent in each of the previous two months. The seasonally adjusted estimate of spending tends to be more volatile but it also posted an encouraging gain of 1.3 per cent in March, after growth of 0.3 per cent in February and a 2.1 per cent gain in spending in January. Annual growth stands at 5.8 per cent.
On the market overall, a total of 1.5 billion shares changed hands, worth $4.9 billion. 485 were up, 408 were down and 365 were unchanged.
At 5pm AEST the SFE 200 Futures was at 4926, down 6pts.
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