Australian share market slips on oil and metal prices

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THE Australian share market has slipped in early trade as overnight declines in oil and metals prices weighed on investors’ minds along with general uncertainty over the next US administration.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was down 0.6 per cent within the first hour of trade on Monday, with banks, materials and energy stocks all affected.

The macro factors are weighing against the market at the moment. Some of it is uncertainty about who will make up the Trump administration, optionsXpress market analyst Ben LeBrun said.

We are also seeing a bit of possible profit taking, particularly in the materials space, as a few of the stocks have had a good run recently.

On Friday, Wall Street ended subdued as investors weighed the impact of US President-elect Trumps likely policies and make up of his administration.

The Dow Jones industrial average ended 0.21 per cent higher, while the S&P500 index closed 0.14 per cent lower.

In the local market, banking shares led Mondays declines.

Westpac and ANZ turned ex-dividend, and were trading 3.1 per cent and 2.2 per cent lower at 1047 AEDT, respectively. NAB shares were up 0.6 per cent at $27.98, while CBA shares were unchanged.

Materials shares also took a hit as metal prices eased after profit taking set in. BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto were down more than one per cent each, while Fortescue slipped 2.2 per cent to $6.14, despite announcing a $US473 million loan deal to fund construction of its very large ore carriers.

Oil prices settled down more than two per cent overnight, reflecting in shares of local energy companies. Santos shares were down 1.4 per cent at $3.75, Oil Search slipped 1.2 per cent to $6.41, while Origin Energy lost 0.8 per cent at $5.38.

Elders shares were up 1.3 per cent at $3.84 after the agribusiness lifted full- year net profit 35 per cent to $51.6 million.


* At 10.47am on Monday, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was down 30.7 points, or 0.57 per cent, at 5,340 points.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was down 30 points, or 0.55 per cent, at 5,416.6 points.

* The December share price index futures contract was down 13 points at 5,344 points, with 13,889 contracts traded.

* National turnover was 943.9 million securities traded, worth $1.34 billion.