Stock markets in Asia looked mostly subdued during cautious trades on Wednesday, with the investors searching for directions after Wall Street closed flat overnight. Though few of the markets proceeded on good note, stocks encountered a lot of resistance as they went higher due to less number of triggers. Healthcare, industrial stocks, and energy are trading weak in the market of Australia. Telecommunications and Information Technology stocks are moving higher, while mining, consumer discretionary, and financial stocks are trading mixed.
The S&P/ASX 200 benchmark, which rebounded and reached 4,389 after faltering to 4,378, is at present trading at 4,381.3, which is a down of 4.4 points or 0.1% from its earlier close. The broader benchmark All Ordinaries index is low by 7.5 points or 0.2% at 4,400. Out of the top miners, Rio Tinto (RIO) is down by 0.6%, Fortescue Metals is trading low by around 2% and BHP Billiton (BHP, BBL) is low by 0.2%, while there is a marginal improvement in the stocks of Newcrest Mining.
In the sector of energy, Origin Energy, Caltex Australia, and Oil Search are all trading little lower, while Santos and Woodside Petroleum are lower by 1.8% and 1.1% respectively. In banking sector, ANZ Bank and Commonwealth Bank of Australia are high marginally, while National Australia Bank is gaining 0.6%, but Westpac (WBK) is losing 0.2%. Bank of Queensland and Bendigo & Adelaide Bank are up by 0.3% and 1% respectively.
David Jones Limited said that their sales in 1st quarter of 2013 increased 0.3% to reach A$415.6 million, ending the 7 quarters in a line of loss, but the stock is still trading weak and is losing over 6%. Boart Longyear is low by 3.5%. Atlas Iron, Iluka Resources, Aurora Oil & Gas, Paladin Energy, CSL, and Myer Holdings are all trading down by around 2% to 3%. Fairfax Media, Oz Minerals, Sonic Healthcare, and Fairfax Media are trading lower.
Meanwhile, Monadelphous Group, Tabcorp Holdings, ALS, James Hardie Industries, and Tatts Group are all trading positively, adding around 1.5% to 2.3%. In the field of economy, the Westpac-Melbourne Institute Leading Index, which tells about the possible rate of economic activities 3 to 9 months in the future, increased 4.1% in the month of September from 2.9% in the last month. However, Coincident Index of Westpac, which measures the present economic activities, is trading at 2.6%, which is less than its long period average of 3%.