Australia share drift to five-week low at mid-session

Jakarta – The Australia share slipped to a five-week low during intra-day trading on a currency-led sell-off as banks and big resources companies came under selling pressure.

At 12pm AEST, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was 40.9 points lower, or 0.85 per cent, to 4743.7 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index fell 37.1 points, or 0.76 per cent, to 4817.6. On the ASX 24, the June share price index futures contract was down 42 points at 4,742 points, with 19,102 contracts traded.

Macquarie Private Wealth adviser, Helen Spencer said, the market had hit a five-week low as a currency-induced sell-off took hold on the potential for earnings downgrades.

Shares in the big banks were under pressure following a cautious outlook delivered by ANZ Banking Group chief executive Mike Smith after ANZ's half-year result announcement on Tuesday, she added.

ANZ's shares were 15 cents, or 0.63 per cent, lower at $23.65. Westpac Banking Corporation fared the worst of the big four, losing 48 cents, or 1.94 per cent, to $24.25 after today posted a 38 per cent jump in first half profit to $3.961 billion as impairment charges fell by half and earnings improved across the business.

Market heavyweight BHP Billiton backtracked 40 cents to $45.10 and Rio Tinto lost $1.27 to $80.84. Macarthur Coal was down 37 cents, or 3.32 per cent, to $10.77 after saying record prices for metallurgical coal would boost annual net profit to between $185 million and $205 million, well up from its profit last year.[HeraldSun/Fr/Dny]

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