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Aussie Dollar Falls On Possible Syria Action

Aussie Dollar Falls On Possible Syria Action

By Chay Flack (Equities Dealer, CMC Markets Stockbroking)

The Dow Jones closed up 48 points to close at 14824.51, led by energy stocks as the market corrects itself from Tuesday’s hammering and investors speculate a surge in demand for energy should the US take military action against Syria.

Possible action in Syria has also impacted our currency as the Australian Dollar has fallen against most of its peers and is currently trading at 89.39 US cents due to a decrease in risk appetite.

US Pending home sale numbers came in negative 1.3%, well below market expectations of positive 0.2%.

Westfield has released half year sales at $514 million, down 36% on last year and a dividend of 25.5 cents in line with historical dividends. Analysts will likely be looking into the negative $119 million loss from capital transactions on the summarised income statement to digest if further losses are expected for the remainder of the year and evaluate if a decline in the dividend payout is expected for February.

Qantas has announced a $5 million profit to rebound from last year’s $245 million loss on the back of cost savings especially in Qantas International.

Perpetual have announced profit of $61 million up 128% and a final dividend of 80 cents per share. While initially looking good, the dividend still has more ground to make on the 90 cents paid in August 2011 and 105 cents paid in 2010.

Ramsay Health Care will be a favourite with investors after announcing a 41.5 cent final dividend, up 12.5 cents on their March payout. They have a habit of paying a final dividend 30%+ higher than their interim.

We are almost at the close of reporting season with Harvey Norman and Virgin winding the season up tomorrow. With less Australian market noise, investors will be watching the election, the US stimulus and the unfolding events in Syria. While all wild cards it’s likely to be a nervous market over the next month or two.

Private capital expenditure data will be released in Australia today and Unemployment claims in the US tonight.

ENDS

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