Midday Market Analysis: Retail Sales Provide Boost
The Aussie market is faring well so far today, currently 45 points (+1.1%) stronger, at 4310.
The materials sector is leading the charge higher, with consumer staples and financials firmly in tow.
Only the consumer discretionary sector is underwater.
A solid retails sales number has provided a boost, with sales rising 0.3% in January following a 0.1% drop in December. The result was in line with expectations.
In company news, Seven Group Holdings announced a 1H FY12 profit of $52.1 million, a 57.8% fall on the previous corresponding period. The result was better than the market expected.
Elsewhere, Harvey Norman Holdings posted its 1H FY12 earnings, showing a net profit of $129 million, a 2.1% fall compared to FY11. The result missed analyst expectations.
Around the region, Asian markets mainly stronger; the Hang Seng is up 0.3% whilst the Nikkei is 1.2% firmer.
Only the Shanghai Composite is weaker, currently down 0.7%.