Aust stocks lower at noon
Market watch top headlines
SYDNEY, Dec 4 AAP
December 04 2012, 12:30AM
Australian stocks are lower as investors wait for the central bank's interest rate decision.
At 1215 AEDT on Tuesday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 was down 10 points, or 0.22 per cent, at 4,521.5 points, while the broad market All Ordinaries index had fallen 10.5 points, or 0.23 per cent, to 4,529.5 points.
On the ASX24, the December share price index futures contract was 18 points lower at 4,532 points, on a volume of 11,697 contracts.
Investors were holding back until the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) delivered its decision on the cash rate at 1430 AEDT, CommSec market analyst Steven Daghlian said.
"There is not much going on ahead of the Reserve Bank's decision this afternoon," he said.
"Most stocks are not doing much ahead of the rates decision."
The RBA is expected to deliver a rate cut of 25 basis points, taking the cash rate to 3.00 per cent.
"There are plenty of reasons for the RBA to actually make a move rather than not," Mr Daghlian said.
A rate cut would likely boost stocks, he said.
The market opened flat and turned negative during the morning after a weak lead from Wall Street.
Making news on Tuesday, the chairman of Premier Investments Solomon Lew has told the company's annual general meeting the macroeconomic environment remained challenging.
Uncertainty in the global economy, confused policy settings and cost of living and interest rate pressures had affected consumer confidence, he said.
Premier Investments was down nine cents, or 1.39 per cent, at $6.38.
Gold stocks were the worst performers on the market, having fallen 1.58 per cent, according to IRESS data.
Newcrest was down 44.5 cents at $24.815.
The spot price of gold in Sydney was $US1,713.60 per fine ounce, down $US5.65 from Monday's local close of $US1,719.25 per ounce.
BHP Billiton was down 19 cents at $34.35, while Rio Tinto had added 13 cents to $58.67.
National turnover was 518.2 million securities worth $1.2 billion, with 305 stocks up, 457 down and 288 unchanged.