SYDNEY Oct 8 Australian shares slipped 0.2
percent to one-month lows on Tuesday morning as a lack of
progress in resolving the U.S. budget standoff kept buyers at
bay, while a rebound in CSL shares limited the broad market
Equity markets have been under pressure since the U.S.
federal government shutdown began last Tuesday, and that is
expected to only increase as the Oct. 17 deadline to raise the
federal borrowing limit gets closer.
"People are just waiting for a solution out of the U.S.
Hopefully today we'll see fund managers coming back from school
holidays and look for opportunities to pick up some undervalued
stock," said Jonathan Fyfe, investment adviser from Wilson HTM
The S&P/ASX 200 index lost 13.4 points to a
one-month low of 5,147.7 by 0044 GMT. The benchmark dropped
nearly 1 percent on Monday, breaking the 5,200 support-line that
held for nearly a month.
Analysts don't expect the U.S. government would default on
its debt, but lack of progress in resolving the standoff has
continued to sap investor confidence.
The 'Big Four' banks were mostly lower. Westpac Banking Corp
slipped 0.3 percent while National Australia Bank
fell 0.5 percent. Top lender the Commonwealth Bank of
Australia bucked the trend, rising 0.7 percent.
Defensives such as consumer retail staple Woolworths Ltd
and Suncorp Group Ltd each lost 1 percent.
Elsewhere, biotechnology firm CSL Ltd climbed 2.3
percent to A$65.57 after a slump in the previous session as the
company said it expects its fiscal 2014 net profit will fall by
$39 million after settlement of an antitrust class action in the
Australia's Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory Company
Holdings Ltd soared 11.8 percent to an all-time high of
A$7.22 after the company agreed to an all-cash takeover by
Saputo Inc, Canada's largest dairy producer, that values the
company at A$392.7 million ($370.1 million).
While investors remain distracted by the political antics in
Washington, traders say the focus will soon turn to the upcoming
earnings season in the U.S.
"There is also U.S. reporting season kicking off. If the
earnings numbers aren't good, even if the debt ceiling stuff is
resolved, the market could come back a bit," said Peter Esho,
chief market analyst at Invast Financial Services.
New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index fell 0.3
percent to 4,741.5.
(Reporting by Maggie Lu Yueyang and Thuy Ong; Editing by Shri