At noon ASX stocks lower

Submitted by Craig Strzelecki on 13 December, 2005 - 12:51

Bank stocks trend lower due to an anticipation of an interest rise in US: The sharemarket receded further at noon as base metal prices weighed on the resources sector and anticipation of a rise in interest rates in the United States sent bank stocks south.

But petrol and oil companies were rosier, lifted by a surge in the oil price.

At noon, S&P/ASX200 was down 21.7 points to 4590.2, while the All Ordinaries had slipped 20 points to 4542.2.

ABN Amro Morgans Ipswich manager Tony Russell said it was a quiet day on the market, and the bourse was waiting for further leads from New York.

"We're having a weaker day ... on the back of a softer US market and lower commodity and base metals prices," Mr Russell said.

"They [the banks] are always sensitive to interest rate movements obviously, and the market is really starting to focus more on the broader macro economics.

"Any data coming out giving any indication of where they [interest rates and inflation] are going is going to reflect on those particular stocks [the banks]."

The big four banks were all lower. The Commonwealth Bank lost 13¢ to $40.82, National Australia Bank fell 39¢ to $31.39, Westpac slipped 10¢ to $22.06 and ANZ fell 11¢ to $23.09.