ASX 200 down despite gains from the banks

Despite shares falling on Wall Street throughout this week, Australian shares have remained “fairly well supported” this week, aided by gains from our miners on the back of improving global economic activity according to Angus Gluskie, managing director of White Funds.

Strong earnings results from companies such as JB Hi-Fi (ASX: JBH) have also provided support to the S&P/ASX 200 (^AXJO) (ASX: XJO), whilst strong gains in iron ore prices have sent shares in BHP Billiton (ASX: BHP) and other miners climbing higher.

Today, the benchmark index is down 13 points, or 0.2%, and is being weighed down by heavyweight companies including QBE Insurance (ASX: QBE) and biopharmaceutical giant CSL (ASX: CSL), which are down 2.3% and 3.5%, respectively.

The major banks have given slight support to the market, with ANZ (ASX: ANZ), Westpac (ASX: WBC) and NAB (ASX: NAB) all up between 0.4% and 0.6%. Commonwealth Bank (ASX: CBA), on the other hand, is down again after it announced that it would not be delivering a special dividend to shareholders, opting to instead preserve capital in the case of an economic downturn.

Are you interested in our #1 dividend-paying stock? Discover The Motley Fool’s favourite income idea for 2013-2014 in our brand-new, FREE research report, including a full investment analysis! Simply click here for your FREE copy of “The Motley Fool’s Top Dividend Stock for 2013-2014.”

More reading

Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article.

Two New Stock Picks Every Month!

Not to alarm you, but you’re about to miss a very important event! Chief Investment Advisor Scott Phillips and his team at Motley Fool Share Advisor are about to reveal their latest official stock recommendation. The premium “buy alert” will be unveiled to members and you can be among the first to act on the tip.

Don’t let this opportunity pass you by – this is your chance to get in early!

Simply enter your email now to find out how you can get instant access.

By clicking this button, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. We will use your email address only to keep you informed about updates to our website and about other products and services we think might interest you. You can unsubscribe from Take Stock at anytime. Please refer to our Financial Services Guide (FSG) for more information.