By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY: Trading on the Australian Securities Exchange has been very positive over the first half of today, with important gains made by Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi and Radio Rentals. On the supplier side, Fisher & Paykel, Breville and Sunbeam are also trading well.

Whilst this is an uncertain climate for electrical retailing, the share prices of listed retail groups today is an indication that share prices are not in freefall, and that retail groups are a viable option for those looking to invest money.

Harvey Norman is leading the charge, up 4.1 per cent to $2.03. This is a great turnaround for the iconic brand, which last week dropped to an 18-year low of $1.91. This 12 cent increase over 3-and-a-half days equates to a 6.2 per cent surge.

Fellow retailers JB Hi-Fi, Radio Rentals and David Jones are also in the black today. JB is up 15 cents to $10.41, David Jones is up 4 cents to $2.14 and Radio Rentals is up 2 cents, or 4 per cent, to 43 cents. Clive Peeters has had a quiet day today, and is steady at 8.1 cents.

Amongst the suppliers on the up in trading today are Breville, up 6.3 per cent to 55 cents, and GUD Holdings (Sunbeam), up 10 cents to $5.35. Fisher & Paykel has also managed a slight increase, up 2.5 per cent to 40 cents. This moves comes despite Macquarie Group altering its substantial hold in Fisher & Paykel downwards from 8.23 per cent to 5.4 per cent.