The Aussie market is really struggling so far today, with the XJO presently down 40 points (-1%) to settle at 4070.
The losses are widespread, with every sector underwater.
Utilities, consumer staples and industrials are the poorest performing sectors, whilst consumer discretionary, materials and telcos are the best of a bad bunch.
In company news, Fairfax is up 1.7% as rumours grow that a private equity firm may make an offer for the company which is currently trading at 0.3 times book value.
Elsewhere, Echo Entertainment has jumped 4% after major shareholder Perpetual Investments declined to back James Packer’s move to install Jeff Kennett on the board of the company.
In economic news, Australia’s trade deficit narrowed by much more than expected in April as iron ore shipments recovered fro
m supply disruptions, setting the seal on a week of strong data that has provided a big boost to confidence in the economy.
Government figures out today showed the deficit on goods and services shrank to $203 million in April, down from $1.28 billion the month before and well under forecasts of $900 million.
Around the region, Asian markets are mainly weaker; the Hang Seng is down 0.5% whilst the Nikkei is off 2%.
The Shanghai Composite is bucking the trend, up 0.1%.