MELBOURNE Jan 9 Australian shares rose 0.4
percent on Wednesday, breaking a three-day losing streak as top
banks and supermarkets offset declines in department stores and
The market stood its ground even as retail sales data showed
a fall of 0.1 percent for November, missing forecasts for a
"It was a bit average," said Tony Russell, senior equities
adviser at RBS Morgans.
"This might be a bit of a fundamental change in how people
are doing their shopping," he said, noting online sales were
Myer Holdings fell 3 percent to A$2.155 as the
government report showed department store sales fell 0.4 percent
in November. A Myer spokesman told Reuters last week the company
was maintaining its forecast for flat Christmas and January
Meanwhile, a measure of online sales from National Australia
Bank jumped 15 percent in November, taking annual growth in
sales to a brisk 27 percent.
Still, gains in heavyweight stocks such as a rise of 1
percent in National Australia Bank and 1.3 percent in
Woolworths helped keep the overall market in positive
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was up 15 points at
4,705.3 by 0144 GMT. It fell 0.6 percent to 4,690.25 on Tuesday.
U.S. stocks fell overnight as companies started to report
results for the fourth quarter.
"Our market anticipated it a bit yesterday and was expecting
the market to be a bit weaker offshore last night," said
New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index rose 0.4
percent to 4,105 points.
STOCKS ON THE MOVE:
* Tiger Resources Ltd rose 4.6 percent to A$0.345
after it said a feasibility study at its Kipoi copper project in
the Democratic Republic of Congo confirmed a low-cost,
high-margin project which can be commissioned after 16 months of
"The results are very encouraging and demonstrate that Kipoi
should generate significant cash flow," said Tiger Resources
Managing Director Brad Marwood in a statement emailed to
* Alumina Ltd rallied 5.1 percent to A$1.03 after
Alcoa Inc beat expectations on revenue.
Alumina holds 40 percent of Alcoa World Alumina & Chemicals
(AWAC), the world's largest alumina business, with capacity to
meet nearly 20 percent of world demand. U.S.-based Alcoa owns 60
(Reporting by Miranda Maxwell; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)