Market dips on Fairfax, Woolies results

Market dips on Fairfax, Woolies results

Market dips on Fairfax, Woolies results

Updated 24 August 2012, 18:05 AEST

The Australian stock market dropped nearly 1 per cent today as Fairfax and Woolworths reported profit falls and slides in share values.

Shares in Fairfax Media sank to new depths on Friday, dropping 11 per cent after Gina Rinehart failed to sell a third of her stake in the company.

They closed at a record low of $0.45 a share.

The broader market ended down 0.8 per cent, with the All Ordinaries losing 35 points to 4,377 and the ASX 200 retreating 34 points to 4,349.

Friday was not quite as big a day on the reporting front as seen this week, as Woolworths reported its first fall in annual profits in 13 years.

Net profits fell 15 per cent to $1.8 billion, around 9 per cent below analyst estimates.

It attributes the fall to a restructure of its Dick Smith electronics chain, saying without that write-down profits actually rose close to 4 per cent. Shares ended down 1.6 per cent.

Rival Wesfarmers shares saw similar losses.

A number of broker changes sent some stocks falling with Fortescue being one of the main victims.

Shares in the iron ore miner sank just over 6 per cent after Nomura downgraded its outlook for the company and as iron ore prices slipped.

BHP Billiton shares lost 1 per cent, while Rio Tinto tumbled 4.3 per cent as metal prices and global economic outlooks unnerved investors.

The Australian dollar has sunk to monthly lows given back some of the gains made yesterday.

Around 5.00pm AEST it was worth $US1.039, 82.8 euro cents, 65.5 British pence and 81.5 Japanese yen.

West Texas Crude was down to $US95 a barrel. Tapis was at $US119.

Gold was trading at $US1,664 an ounce.