Aussie stocks falls Meltdown comodity sector trashed

We all expected a correction in the market and it has come ..but not in the way we were expecting . The chinese Overpricesd stock prices climbed to high and there was the iminent fall in the share market. This fall in one of the world largest and fastest growing economies was sure to be felt hard by the dow jones. The good in this is .. the local investors get to pick up some bargains .. but then we cant say for sure when the market is gonna pick up and come back to normal. Some Aussie stock prices reflected below due to the massive fall in the down jones index.

(Adds Queensland Gas, updates indexes)

Australian shares fell 2.4 percent on Wednesday, mirroring a sell-off in equity markets worldwide after a tumble in China’s main index stoked worries of a global economic slowdown.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index <.AXJO> lost 144.3 points to 5,849.5 by 0230 GMT. It had fallen as much as 3.45 percent earlier in the session, its biggest one-day percentage fall since Sept. 17, 2001 when it slipped 4.7 percent.

Among stocks that bucked the downward trend, Queensland Gas Ltd. jumped after receiving a takeover bid and retailer Woolworths Ltd. gained after giving an upbeat outlook on Tuesday.

New Zealand’s benchmark NZX-50 Index <.NZ50> was also down, falling 78.82 points, or 1.9 percent, to 4,020.60, its biggest one-day percentage fall since May 2, 2003 when it fell 2.2 percent.

The top stock, Telecom Corp. , slipped 1.8 percent to NZ$4.80.

STOCKS ON THE MOVE

* Queensland Gas surged as much as 13.6 percent to A$1.545 after investment fund TCW Group Inc. launched an A$812 million ($644 million) bid for the Australian coal seam gas producer, trumping a rival bid by AGL Energy Ltd [ID:nSYD148444].

It last traded up 12.1 percent at A$1.525, above the A$1.51 per share that TCW is offering.

0229 GMT

* Woolworths Ltd. , Australia’s largest supermarket chain, rose 2.6 percent to a record A$27.44, adding to Tuesday’s 2.1 percent gain. JP Morgan raised its earnings forecasts and stock recommendation on the company following the positive outlook it gave with its profit result [ID:nSYD148525].

0130 GMT

* Tattersall’s Ltd. , Australia’s top lottery operator, rose 0.9 percent to A$4.54, after hitting an all-time high of A$4.56 earlier in the session as investors turned to stocks with limited exposure to China.

“What triggered the sell-off (in global markets) does not have an impact on a number of stocks and that’s why we are not seeing the likes of Woolworths and Tattersall falling,” said Paul Xiradis, chief executive officer at boutique fund Ausbil Dexia.

0130 GMT

* Australian electrical and furniture retailer Harvey Norman Holdings Ltd. fell 4.1 percent to A$4.23 after posting a first-half profit that was slightly below market forecasts [ID:nSYD118873].

0034 GMT

* Australia’s Smorgon Steel Group Ltd. lost 4.3 percent to A$1.905 after its first-half profit rose 6 percent, though below market expectations [ID:nSYD272580].

0033 GMT

* The top four banks fell, sending the financial services index <.AXFJ> down 166.8 points, or 2.4 percent.

National Australia Bank Ltd. was down 1.8 percent at A$39.95, Commonwealth Bank of Australia Ltd. fell 2.0 percent to A$49.66, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. lost 1.7 percent to A$29.21 while Westpac Banking Corp. fell 1.9 percent to A$25.51.

0033 GMT

* Resource stocks with exposure to the China market were among the biggest decliners.

BHP Billiton Ltd. , the world’s top miner, slipped 5.6 percent to A$27.25, while rival Rio Tinto Ltd. lost 5.6 percent to A$75.19.

Sino Gold dived 12.31 percent to A$7.05, Newcrest Mining slipped 6.0 percent to A$22.43 while Woodside Petroleum Ltd. was down 2.7 percent at A$37.25.

2335 GMT

* Australian contractor Lend Lease Corp. Ltd. fell 2.5 percent to A$17.95 after it reported a 2 percent fall in first-half operating profit, hit by delays on a UK hospital project, but reaffirmed it expected strong profit growth for the full year [ID:nSYD127144].

2333 GMT

* Australia’s Symbion Health Ltd. was down 3.6 percent to A$3.75 after it posted a slight decline in first-half profit before items due to higher finance charges [ID:nSYD44655].

2331 GMT

* Australian energy infrastructure group Alinta Ltd. , which is facing a management buyout proposal, fell 2.2 percent to A$14.13 after posting an 8.2 percent fall in second-half net profit, largely due to a write-down of its gas pipeline [ID:nSYD144044].

2331 GMT

* QBE Insurance Group Ltd. , Australia’s top insurer by premium income, slipped 6.3 percent to A$31.50 after it said it had raised A$406 million ($320 million) by selling new shares to institutional investors [ID:nSYD148279].

2330 GMT ($1=A$1.27) ($1=NZ$1.43)

~~ Stock Picks and Stuff from JJ ~~

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