Aust stocks open flat
Market watch top headlines
SYDNEY, Feb 11 AAP
February 11 2013, 10:51AM
The Australian stock market has opened flat, with strong gains in consumer discretionary stocks offset by weakness in mining-related sectors.
At 1027 AEDT on Monday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 4.1 points, or 0.08 per cent, at 4,967.2 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index had fallen 3.1 points, or 0.06 per cent, to 4,986.3 points.
On the ASX 24, the March share price index futures contract was down seven points at 4,928 points, with 6,961 contracts traded.
Electronics retailer JB Hi-Fi surged 13.08 per cent, or $1.44, to $12.45 after reporting its first half net profit had risen three per cent to $82 million.
JB Hi-Fi, the best-performing stock on the S&P/ASX200, also forecast its full year net profit would rise seven per cent.
"That's an excellent performance by JB in a pretty inclement, overall, retail environment," Lonsec private client adviser Michael Heffernan said.
The consumer discretionary sector on Monday morning was up a market-leading 1.16 per cent, according to IRESS data.
"When you get a harbinger of a sector putting out a very good result, it flows through to the rest of them," Mr Heffernan said.
"That's clearly what's happening here."
On a negative note, the materials sector and energy stocks had both fallen 0.31 per cent.
Overseas, Wall Street ended last week higher. The Dow rose 0.35 per cent, the S&P500 gained 0.57 per cent and the NASDAQ lifted 0.91 per cent.
In other domestic news, Insurance Australia Group (IAG) said about 14,300 claims related to ex-tropical cyclone Oswald and bushfires in NSW, Victoria and Tasmania could cost the company up to $175 million.
IAG was down four cents at $5.15.
The spot price of gold in Sydney was at $US1,666.70 per fine ounce, down $US5.33 from Friday's local close of $US1,672.03 per ounce.
National turnover was 176.6 million securities worth $242.3 million, with 296 stocks trading up, 247 down and 286 unchanged.