The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) lost 10.9 points to finish at 5,186 points today, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. The fall came as traders awaited a United States jobs report due out this morning.
The report, which was expected to offer insight on the future of the Federal Reserve’s stimulus program, indicates that the US may begin tapering stimulus as early as this month. As Rob Henderson, chief economist for markets at National Australia Bank, told The Sydney Morning Herald, ”[g]iven the data we’ve seen out of the U.S. with strong manufacturing indexes, good employment numbers, it seems like the economy’s telling them we don’t need all this stimulus.”
However, despite the drop in the market, a number of energy and mining companies experienced gains on the ASX today. Among them was Western Areas (ASX:WSA), an Australia-based nickel mining company. The company was the top gainer on the ASX today, rising $0.19, or 9.27 percent, to $2.18.
Oil and gas exploration and production company Buru Energy (ASX:BRU) also rose on the ASX today, gaining $0.08, or 6.06 percent, to reach $1.40. Other major gainers today were gold mining and development company St. Barbara (ASX:SBM), which rose $0.02, or 5.77 percent, to $0.28, and copper and gold mining company PanAust (ASX:PNA), which increased $0.09, or 5.36 percent, hitting $1.67.
OceanaGold (ASX:OGC) was among the companies that fell on the ASX. The gold mining company lost $0.08, or 4.72 percent, sinking to $1.62.