News Artcle

Australia stocks fall as U.S. fiscal cliff looms

Published December 30, 2012

LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) -- Australian stocks slid downhill at the start of a shortened pre-holiday trading session Monday, with shares suffering from U.S. lawmakers' lack of a deal to avoid the "fiscal cliff" of austerity measures due to begin taking effect Tuesday. The S&P/ASX 200 dropped 0.5% to 4,648.00, with resources among the top losers as investors watched the fiscal-cliff talks and reacted to Friday's sell-down in U.S. shares. Rio Tinto Ltd. fell 1%, BHP Billiton Ltd. dropped 0.7%, Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. gave up 0.9%, and Alumina Ltd. surrendered 1.6%. Financials were also weak, with Macquarie Group Ltd. and Westpac Banking Corp. each losing 0.8%, while Insurance Australia Group Ltd. fell 1.1%. Among the few major gainers, Fairfax Media Ltd. rallied 4.2% after Australian media magnate John Singleton's Gutenberg Investments took a stake in the company, according to a Dow Jones Newswires report. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

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