By James Wells
SYDNEY: The Australian Stock Exchange has dived almost three per cent today with retailers JB Hi-Fi and David Jones as well as Sunbeam’s parent company – GUD Holdings, suffering big falls.
At lunchtime today, JB Hi-Fi had fallen over seven per cent with a 72 cent fall in its share price to $9.48 with 586,033 shares traded, while other retail stocks were also wounded by the fall with David Jones suffering a fall of 34 cents to below $5.00 at $4.92 with over 1.9 million shares traded. Harvey Norman had fallen by 14 cents to $5.09 with over 1.9 million shares traded, while Clive Peeters fell three cents to $1.91.
Sunbeam and Victa’s parent company, GUD Holdings, suffered the biggest slide on the supplier side with a 75 cent drop by lunchtime today to $10.24 with over 250,000 shares traded. Housewares International, the parent company of Sunbeam’s direct competitor – Breville – dropped two cents to $2.76. Australasian whitegoods manufacturer, Fisher & Paykel, dropped 14 cents to $3.04.
The cause of the fall on the local stockmarket relates to a fall of almost three per cent in the Dow Jones Industrial Average index in New York following concerns regarding the US subprime loan sector, which allows consumers with poor credit histories to borrow money for mortgages.
CommSec chief equities economist ,Craig James, told the Sydney Morning Herald this morning told clients the falls represented more than your ”garden variety price correction.”
”Fear, rumour and innuendo have taken over as drivers of markets – all based on worries of contagion flowing from the subprime mortgage crisis in the US,” he said.