The ASX is down 19.4pts, or .3 per cent, at 5956.1 today, retreating after some early morning strength. The market fell short of the 6,000pts mark after it found resistance. "There is always a bit of momentum with these moves, when the market is rallying potential buyers don't want to miss out and if things open fairly flat and drift down they sometimes hold fire to see how far they go," CMC Markets chief market analyst Ric Spooner said. Health stocks were trending down. The big banks were looking mixed after they retreated from moderate gains last week.
The Australian dollar briefly rose above 78 US cents amid US Federal Funds rate speculation. OANDA Asia Pacific senior trader Stephen Innes said the chances of US interest rates staying lower for longer will help the Australian dollar. "The Aussie is trading higher this morning after the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago president Charles Evans released a paper suggesting that US interest rates should remain near zero for longer amid the 'substantial uncertainty' facing the American economy," he said. "That merely creates further doubt in investors' minds as to when the Fed will move to raise rates."
Premier Investments Limited (ASX:PMV) is up $1.25, or 11.07 per cent, at $12.54 per share. Premier Investments has announced a 9 per cent increase in half-year profits. They have also announced a special dividend of 9c per share.
Orica Limited (ASX:ORI) is up 49c, or 2.63 per cent, at $19.10 per share. Orica is recovering from a previous slip after appointing non-executive direction Alberto Calderon as its interim chief executive.
Wesfarmers Limited (ASX:WES) is down 19c, or .43 per cent, at $43.99 per share. Woolworths has recently replaced Wesfarmers as Australia’s second biggest revenue earner. Woolworths is a rival to Coles, a subsidiary of Wesfarmers.