Welcome to Wednesday. Here are the five things I’m looking at today on the Australian sharemarket.
- The S&P/ ASX 200 Index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has opened higher, up 0.2% at 5,669.9, despite moderate falls on Wall Street overnight and a host of stocks going ex-dividend. BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and AMP Limited (ASX: AMP) are just two of the large caps going ex-dividend today. The S&P 500 lost 0.1%, while the Dow Jones fell 0.2%.
As Joe Bell, senior equity analyst at Schaeffer’s Investment Research in the US told Bloomberg,
“…after that strong rally we had through much of August, the market is taking a bit of a breather.”
- Iron ore stocks are again under the pump this morning, after the commodity price fell to a new low of US$86.70 a tonne overnight. That’s the lowest price since early September 2012, and further falls could see it hit five-year lows. Some analysts are forecasting a fall to US$75 a tonne in the second half of next year, thanks to a double squeeze of falling demand and rising supply.
BC Iron Limited (ASX: BCI) had fallen 4.3%, Iron Ore Holdings Limited (ASX: IOH) was down 3.5%, while Arrium Limited (ASX: ARI) and Atlas Iron Limited (ASX: AGO) were also big losers in early trade.
- While not exactly market related (yet) Medibank Private’s 4 million policyholders could receive special treatment when the government-owned health insurer floats on the ASX. The Australian Financial Review reports that policyholders may receive some incentive to buy shares, and provide strong support for the float.
- Tweet of the Day
GONSKI: If you think house prices will always go up, you’re a fool – https://t.co/Gs8H7vN8QK
— Business Insider AUS (@BusInsiderAU) September 3, 2014
Something it seems many Australian property investors have forgotten or are ignoring.
- Stock of the Day – brought to you by Darryl Date-Shappard – APN News and Media Limited (ASX: APN).APN may spin off its New Zealand business into a new listing, worth more than $500 million. You can read more here.
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Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King doesn't own shares in any companies mentioned. You can follow Mike on Twitter @TMFKinga
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