Australian Market Report of March 17: Wall Street Rally Ended

Newswire) – Wall Streets rally came to an end on Monday. The market ended slightly lower on refreshed worries over the health of financial firms. Yesterday the Australian market closed marginally higher as financial stocks surged. The benchmark S&PASX200 index gained 0.1%, or 3.2 points at 3348.4, while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 0.1%, or 2.6 points, at 3297.3. Australian shares may receive support from the stronger copper and oil prices, despite the falls on Wall Street. Key Economic Facts and Figures The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released figures on lending finance for January. The result showed that the value of personal finance issued in January rose 1.4% after seasonal adjustment from December to A$6.49 billion. Commercial finance rose 6.5% in January in seasonally adjusted terms from December to A$31.03 billion. Lease finance fell 17% in seasonally adjusted terms in January to A$443 million. Today the Reserve Bank of Australia will release the minutes of March board meeting. M&A News It is speculated that Canadian media group CanWest Global Communications (TSE:CGS) is seeking A390 million fund raising by sale of its 56.6 per cent holding in Ten Network (ASX:TEN) to five to six investors. Canwest declined to comment and said the company remained focused on operating its businesses. Infrastructure group Asciano (ASX:AIO) plans to raise over A$1 billion to pay down debt. The company said it is considering buyout offers for all of its assets <b>…<b>

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