The Australian share market has sunk to its lowest level this year and continues to trade deep in the red at noon. Spain falling back into recession and the possibility of Greece exiting the eurozone, dragging shares lower.
The S&P/ASX 200 index has shed 82 points and is 4,075. On the futures market the SPI is 82 points lower.
The Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten has come out swinging at the BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP) chairman’s comments that Australia’s industrial relations system has become an obstacle to big business. In the middle of the week Jac Nasser attacked the government’s industrial relations and taxation policies, asserting they were adding to investment uncertainty. Reportedly there have been more than 3000 industrial action incidents in the past year at BHP’s coal mines. Mr Shorten says the dispute is a failure on BHP’s behalf rather than the fault of workplace relations policy. BHP shares are trading down 3.27 per cent at $31.70.
Billabong International Limited (ASX:BBG) founder and shareholder Gordon Merchant has backed the appointment of Launa Inman as the new chief executive. That’s according to Fairfax Media. The former Target boss replaced Derek O’Neill, after his twenty years of service at the surfwear group. Mr Merchant has revealed that he personally asked Mr O’Neill to resign, according to the media report. Billabong shares are trading down 2.79 per cent at $2.09.
Best and worst performers
Al the major sectors are trading in the red. The sector with the smallest losses is Telco Services falling 2 points to 1,226. Shares in Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX:TLS) have fallen 0.14 per cent and are trading at $3.58. Shares in Telecom Corporation of New Zealand (Australia) (ASX:TEL) and Singapore Telecommunications Limited (ASX:SGT) have also fallen.
The worst performing sector is Energy, falling 352 points to 12,341. Shares in Whitehaven Coal Limited (ASX.WHC) have fallen 6.14 per cent, trading at $4.13. Shares in Paladin Energy Limited (ASX:PDN) and Santos Limited (ASX:STO) are also lower.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1576 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying 98.53 US cents.