Shares extend slide after Wall St slump
June 23 (AAP) The Australian sharemarket is has opened lower after Wall Street slumped in late trade as poor housing data hit investor confidence.
In early trade, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index fell 29.2 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 4529.1 and the All Ordinaries dropped 30.3 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 4551.
“There’s no feeling of certainty out there hence we’ll continue to see volatility in stocks,” said Wilson HTM investment manager Henry Edgar said.
Overnight the legal wrangling between the White House and BP amid the ongoing Gulf of Mexico oil spill had sent jitters through the energy sector, which should weigh on local oil and resources stocks, Mr Edgar said.
Also, US existing home sales in May dropped to 5.7 million, much lower than the 6.1 million expected for the month, exposing another element of weakness in the American economy.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 148.96 points, or 1.4 per cent, to 10,293.45. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell 17.86 points, or 1.6 per cent, to 1095.34. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 27.29 points, or 1.2 per cent, to 2261.80.
European stock exchanges wilted in the face of profit-taking, with the London FTSE 100 index shedding 1 per cent to close at 5246.98 points.
BP shares fell to their lowest point in 13 years, as CEO Tony Hayward handed over control of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill response to managing director Bob Dudley.
US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the US economy was ‘‘still going through an incredibly difficult period’’, as he warned the impact of the crisis would be ‘‘lasting’’.
"Mogi" Munkhdul Badral
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