Australian Stockmarket Falls in Volatile Session

14 December 2011 - Which Way To Pay

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Australian Stockmarket Falls in Volatile Session

The Australian stockmarket saw losses at close of a volatile trading session following news from the US Federal Reserve that interest rates are being held steady, indicating no new stimulus measures for now. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index lost 0.1% throughout the trading day, closing at 4190.50.

Asian equity markets also saw slight losses, with the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong losing 0.2% and the Nikkei Stock Average in Japan falling by 0.6%. The poor performance from the Asia-Pacific fell in line with declines on Wall Street following the announcement from the Federal Reserve the rates were to be left unchanged. The Reserve signalled that other stimulus measures such as quantitative easing were not being imminently considered.

Strategists at BNP Paribas commented that ‘there were some observers who had hoped or expected some more signals about another round of asset purchases. This was not forthcoming.’ The Federal Reserve seems to be taking a cautious approach, the US dollar for the first quarter of next year is ‘clear of monetary obstacles’ according to a strategist at Credit Agricole. Thus, the US dollar is ‘poised for a stronger run higher.’

As commodities are valued in US dollars, prices generally suffer when the dollar is strong. In electronic trading today, gold, oil and copper futures were all down. Gold futures lost over $20 US per ounce. Mining and energy firms saw particularly weak performances in Australian trading.

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