The Australian share market closed lower for a second session today, as weakness from US markets and a fall in commodity prices impacted sentiment. Investors were also unwilling to take on too much risk ahead of the European Central Bank meeting later tonight.
A man looks at a display board showing stock market prices inside a brokerage in Taipei May 25, 2010.
The All Ordinaries Index (XAO) fell 39.8pts or 0.8 per cent to 5104.1pts.
Westpac (WBC) shares eased after hitting a record high yesterday. The lender reports its first half results tomorrow.
Macquarie Group (MQG) was a standout in the financial sector, rising 1 per cent, while Telstra (TLS) shares hit a new eight year high, adding 0.6 per cent to $5.06.
Myer Limited (MYR) shares were in focus today. CEO Bernie Brookes issued an apology after some in the community were offended by comments he made regarding the government's National Disability levy and its impact on consumers. MYR shares fell 2.3 per cent to $3.01 while David Jones (DJS) was weaker by 2.8 per cent to $2.83.
Flight Centre (FLT) today announced its full year profit may be as much as eight per cent higher than previously forecast after strong growth in key markets including Australia and the UK. FLT has raised its guidance for underlying profit before tax to between $325-$340 million up from $305-$315 million. FLT today added 0.1 per cent to $38.20.
The Australian dollar ended the day's trade at US102.36c, €77.84c and £0.6583.
A total of 1.64 billion shares were traded, worth $4.14 billion. 319 were up, 613 were down and 336 were unchanged.
At 5pm AEST the SFE 200 Futures market was at 5121, down 40pts.
Ahead tonight, the ECB interest rate decision along with the release of the trade balance in the US.
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