By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY: Harvey Norman’s share price is today running dangerously close to its lowest close in six years. Should the retail giant’s share price drop below $1.92 this afternoon, it will be Harvey’s lowest close in almost 19 years.

Harvey Norman has been feeling the full force of the economic crisis over the last year, with significant losses in Ireland and multiple store closings prompting the iconic retail group to post weekly sales updates to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). These notices regularly concluded with the statement: “retail margins continue to be under pressure”.

That pressure is now painfully evident for holders, with the share price dipping to $1.950 shortly before 3pm this afternoon. With the ASX trading day closing in just one hour, Harvey Norman could finish the day with its lowest share price this millennium. Despite this impending milestone, the InvestSMART online share analysis website is currently recommending that traders hold their shares.

On 24 March 2003, Harvey Norman closed at $1.93. Eleven days previous, the retailer closed at $1.92. These are the record two lowest closings for Harvey Norman in the last 10 years. Should the share price dip below this level, it would be Harvey Norman’s lowest closing price since its $1.85 close in December 1990.

Harvey Norman’s shareprice turmoil is not reflective of the whole industry, however, with its competitors enjoying a mostly uneventful day. JB Hi-Fi is down 4 cents to $10.25, Clive Peeters is up 0.5 cents to 10.5 cents and David Jones is up slightly to $2.32.