Retailer sees stock plunge

THEmarketfinished the week at 5151.6, down 76.1points from the previous week’s close of 5251.4. The All Ordinaries finished down 75.2points or 1.4per cent on Friday’s trade.

Customer-facing stocks enjoyed vastly differing fortunes on Monday. Electronics retailer Dick Smith (DSH) saw its shares more than halve in value after a falling sales forced it to dump its profit forecast. DSH said sales were weaker during October and November. DSH slashed up to $8 million off its full year net profit guidance in October saying it would fall to between $45 million and $48 million.

The Reserve Bank decided to keep interest rates on hold at twoper cent for the seventh straight month on Tuesday. Although the door remains open for the central bank to cut rates if needed, chances remain slim in the short-term.

BHP rose by 3.6 per cent after slumping by 21 per cent in November. Australia’s largest miner said it was ‘considering the matters raised’in its Brazil suit.

Spotless (SPO) slumped 39.7 per cent on Wednesdayafter the cleaning services company delivered a profit warning.

SPO anticipates net profit after tax will fall by 10 per cent and will be held back partly by one-off costs linked to acquisitions and restructuring.

The local share market finished the session weaker on Thursday,weighed down by heavy falls from mining and energy stocks which were sold off in response to tumbling commodity prices.

World oil prices slumped almost 4.5 per centas US crude oil inventories rose for the 10th straight week. Woodside Petroleum shares fell 3.8 per cent.

Santos shares resumed trade after selling off the shares left over from its $2.5 billion capital raising. Shares ended up 1.7 per cent.

At the close of weekly trading, the gold price finished at $1086per ounce, the WTI oil price traded at $40.11 a barreland the Australian dollar was worth US $0.73.

In the US, the Dow Jones finished up 369.96 points to end the week at 17,847.63. Theresult caused the Share Price Index to move down 75 point to 5201 which should lead to a negative start to today’s trading.

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