Australian stocks finish lower, pulled down by the big miners and further evidence of weakness in  China's manufacturing sector.

4.49pm: That's all from us here at blog central, we've enjoyed your company, tune in tomorrow from 9.30am for another dose of Markets Live.

Click here for a full wrap of today's session.

4.41pm: Here's a look at the notable movers from the top 50 companies on the ASX:

4.35pm: Taking a look at how blue chip stocks performed for the day:

  • BHP: -1.5%
  • Rio: - 2.1%
  • ANZ: +0.77%
  • CBA: -0.69%
  • NAB: flat
  • Westpac: -0.86%
  • Fortescue: -2.44%
  • Woolworths: +0.8%
  • Wesfarmers: -0.32%
  • Telstra: +1%

4.30pm: European stock futures pointed to a lower open, tracking losses in Asian shares, after China’s PMI contracted for an 11th month in a row in September.

Futures for London’s FTSE, Germany's DAX and France's CAC were 0.5 to 0.6 per cent lower.

While in the US, futures for the Dow Jones and S&P 500 indexes were down 0.3 per cent and 0.35 per cent respectively. 

4.24pm: Here's a late file from BusinessDay's Michael Pascoe: DJs only has itself to blame.

Predictably enough, there it was in a national broadsheet that we'll let go unnamed: "Department store chain David Jones has confirmed the dire state of the consumer sector, reporting a 40 per cent dive in annual profit and warning that shoppers are still nervous about the economy."

No, the 40 per cent fall in David Jones' profit confirms the poor state of David Jones' board and management but actually says very little about the consumer sector. The consumer has kept spending quite respectably over the past year, but has chosen not to do so in either of our mid-market department store chains.

4.14pm: Energy stocks led the losses, falling 2 per cent, followed by the materials sub-index which dropped 1.3 per cent. Gold slipped 0.4 per cent and financials lost 0.1 per cent. Telecommunications bucked the trend, adding 1 per cent.

4.12pm: The market has closed lower, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index fell 21.2 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 4397.2, while the broader All Ords dropped 20.6 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 4419.8.

4.06pm: The RBA has been able to pay a dividend to the federal government for the first time in three years for the 2011-12 financial year.

The RBA's annual report tabled in parliament today shows it is paying a $500 million dividend to government after recording an accounting profit of $1.076 billion in the 12 months to June 30, 2012.

This compared with a $4.889 billion loss in the previous financial year.

3.57pm: Sony, Japan’s biggest exporter of consumer electronics, said it expects end-of year holiday sales at its games unit to be similar to last year’s levels.

“It’ll be somewhere close to the range of last year,” Andrew House, head of the company’s games business, said today.

Demand for Sony’s PlayStation 3 game console is “looking strong and looking on track,” House said, a day after the Tokyo-based company unveiled a smaller, lighter version of the gaming machine.

3.46pm: Ian Smith picked up a $2.2 million termination benefit when he stepped down as chief executive of gold miner Newcrest.

Newcrest’s annual report revealed Mr Smith earned $6.7 million in his final year with the company, which he left in July 2011. He has since joined Orica as its new boss.

Mr Smith's total remuneration included $2.3 million in salary and fees, the $2.2 million termination payout, plus $750,000 in other cash benefits.

3.38pm: As we approach the end of trading on the ASX, here's how markets around the region have performed:

  • Nikkei(Japan): -1.35%
  • Shanghai: -1.21%
  • Taiwan:-0.72%
  • South Korea: -0.71%
  • Singapore: -0.42%
  • New Zealand: +0.56%

3.32pm: Here's something interesting from the small business desk: 

Carolyn Creswell, the woman who bought a muesli business at 18 for $1000 and built it into a global success story, has won a prestigious Victorian business award.

The owner and managing director of Carman’s Fine Foods has just been named the Telstra Victorian Business Woman of the Year.

Cresswell built a small business into one that now exports to 32 countries and sells a product worldwide every two seconds. 

Click here for the full story.

3.25pm: Genting Hong Kong says it still wants approval to acquire more shares in Australian casino operator Echo Entertainment Group even though its counterpart in Singapore has decided to sell its stake in Echo.

Genting Hong Kong and Genting Singapore are both part of Malaysian conglomerate Genting Group, which has interests in gambling, power generation, oil palm plantations, property development, and oil and gas around southeast Asia.

Genting Hong Kong and Genting Singapore became substantial shareholders in Echo in June 2012, together holding about 9.9 per cent of Echo’s shares.

3.18pm: Commonwealth Bank chief Ian Narev is in line for a bonus of up to $4.1 million, on top of his $1.84 million base pay, should he meet a series of performance hurdles in coming years. 

Shareholders will vote in October on whether to grant Mr Narev reward rights on 78,681 shares, currently worth a face value of $4.1 million.

3.11pm: Here's a graphic which shows the drop in crude oil over the last month:

3.04pm: The dollar's fall continues ... the currency has hit the day's low of $US1.0403 and is now at $US1.0409.

2.56pm: The price for a barrel of WTI crude oil has extended its drop, falling $US1 to trade under $US91, shrugging off more stable Chinese manufacturing data as higher US oil stocks and the prospect of Saudi Arabia taking action to moderate prices weigh on prices.

''We saw that significant increase in crude inventories in the US, and that's probably because the Gulf platforms are coming back on-stream post Isaac,'' says Fat Prophets analyst David Lennox.

''There is still some weakness in the demand side of the equation.''

2.47pm: Stocks, meanwhile, are lower in afternoon trade. The ASX200 is now down 15.7 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 4402.7.

2.39pm: Shale oil and gas could provide a major new source of Australian exports, a conference in Darwin has been told.

Martyn Eames, vice president of the Asia Pacific division of energy giant Santos, told the South East Asia Australia Offshore Conference that Asian markets will need large volumes of natural gas imports in coming years.

While Australia was becoming a major global supplier of liquefied natural gas, producers had barely scratched the surface when it comes to exploiting the nation’s immense shale fields.

‘‘The Northern Territory government estimates the territory to have more than 200tcf (trillion cubic feet) of shale gas resources,’’ Mr Eames says.

2.30pm: The International Monetary Fund says Australia’s banking system is well-placed to withstand a US-style housing crisis.

IMF monetary and capital markets division chief Dr Cheng Hoon Lim says so-called ’stress tests’ had been carried out to see how Australia’s banks could cope with a housing collapse like that which hit the US and UK in the past five years.

‘‘Even in the most extreme scenario the banking system fared pretty well,’’ she says.

2.19pm: Chinese airlines are ramping up their flights to Australia with Sichuan Airlines believed to be the latest set to launch services between its base in western China and Melbourne, Matt O'Sullivan reports.

In a further challenge to Qantas’s international operations, the Chinese airline is expected to announce as early as today plans to offer thrice weekly flights between Melbourne and Chengdu, a city of more than 7 million people in western China. Sichuan Airlines’s headquarters are in Chengdu. More here.

2.03pm: Clothing, footwear, sportswear and equipment giant Nike has announced a four-year, $US8 billion share buyback plan.

"We believe repurchasing our shares is a prudent use of our cash and are pleased to extend Nike's track record of returning value to shareholders through sustained share repurchases," says Nike president and CEO Mark Parker.

"This new share repurchase program demonstrates our continued confidence in Nike's strategy to generate long-term profitable growth and strong cash flow, and reflects our commitment to delivering value to our shareholders."

He says Nike has returned $US10 billion to shareholders over the past decade thanks to the repurchase of over 167 million shares.

1.47pm: Oil prices are higher on bargain-hunting after a slump in New York triggered by a rise in US inventories and rumours Saudi Arabia was due to increase supplies, analysts say.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in October has added two cents to $US92.00 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for November delivery has gained 43 cents to $US108.62.

Traders are capitalising on cheaper crude after prices plunged more than $3 on Wednesday, says market strategist for IG Markets Singapore Justin Harper.

1.35pm: Manufacturers have enjoyed improved business conditions for the first time in more than a year, helped by lower interest rates and a less hostile global environment.

But businesses still believe there is plenty of ammunition for the central bank to cut interest rates again before the end of the year.

The composite index in the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry - Westpac survey of industrial trends survey, was 52.4 in the September quarter compared with 48.3 in the previous three months.

This was the first reading above 50 points since March 2011, a level that separates output expansion from contraction.

1.25pm:  Despite being pushed from his post, former Boral chief executive Mark Selway received a $1.9 million termination payment and stands to gain a further $2.7 million worth of shares.

Mr Selway stood down in May after losing the support of the building products company’s board, ending a two-and-a-half year stint as chief executive.

He received a $1.89 million termination payment on top of his base salary of $1.86 million in the year to July 31, Boral’s annual report shows.

1.17pm: The dollar, meanwhile, continues to fall and is at $US1.0434 after going as low as $US1.0425.

1.03pm: The Shanghai composite index started falling just before the release of the PMI numbers. It slipped about 10 points, from 2053 to 2042 before stabilising.

12.55pm: We get the official word on Chinese manufacturing on October 1 when a separate, government-backed index of purchasing managers’ views at manufacturers, which fell to a nine-month low of 49.2 for August, is due to be released.

12.49pm: There are perhaps two disappointing aspects of the China numbers. One is that, while China's manufacturing appear to have stabilised in September, the numbers don't show a reversal. That will be something to look for next month - evidence of a turnaround.

And secondly, a sub-index that measures output fell to 47.0, its lowest level since November 2011. Today's flash, or preliminary, survey offers an early peek at data for September, and suggests economic growth in China is still slack despite what many see as an improvement in the important property sector. Full story.

12.45pm: The Aussie dollar has also stumbled on the China manufacturing numbers. It was trading at $US1.0457 but fell to $US1.0440 when the news arrived. Markets have now slipped to a loss of 0.5 per cent.

12.40pm: Aussie investors don't like the China manufacturing numbers. As the chart above shows, the ASX200 turned south when they were released. The benchmark index is now touching fresh lows for the day of 0.4 per cent.

12.35pm: Here’s HSBC economist  Qu Hongbin on the China numbers:

China's manufacturing growth is still slowing, but the pace of slowdown is stabilising. Manufacturing activities remain lacklustre, thanks to weak new business flows and a longer than expected destocking process.

This is adding more pressure to the labour market and has prompted Beijing to step up easing over the past weeks. The recent easing measures should be working to lead to a modest improvement from Q4 onwards.

12.30pm: Manufacturing activity in China stabilised in September after hitting a nine-month low in August, even though output dipped to its lowest level in 10 months, a survey of factory managers showed on Thursday.

The HSBC Flash China manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) ticked up to 47.8, from 47.6 in August. There was a broad steadying across the sub-indexes in the survey.

But while the economy may not have worsened in September, there were few signs of a fast turnaround. Rather, the PMI, which provides the first glimpse of September's conditions for Chinese industry, seems to point to a month in which a slide was halted, but not reversed.

12.24pm: Just ahead of the China flash PMI, some new data on Australian industry has arrived. It shows Australian industry is experiencing a welcome pickup in activity after a long period of struggle.

The quarterly survey from Westpac and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) found overall activity expanded for the first time since the first quarter of 2011, helped in part by cuts in interest rates in May and June.

The survey's Actual Composite index of conditions rose to 52.4 for the third quarter, up from 48.3 the previous quarter. The Expected Composite index, measuring the outlook for the next six months, also improved to 53.7, from 51.5.

Expectations of 'general business conditions' improved significantly in the September quarter, with a net 11 per cent of respondents now expecting that conditions will improve over the next six months. That compares with a net 21 per cent who expected conditions to deteriorate three months ago.

12.17pm: Looking at the slide in Billabong share price this morning, IG Markets analyst Cameron Peacock said the drop indicated shareholders were disappointed the second takeover offer had been pulled off the table.

‘‘They are a struggling retailer,’’ he said.

‘‘As a shareholder the only reason you would have been comfortable holding this stock was because it was under takeover offer. I’m surprised it is only down seven per cent.’’

12.13pm: A quick look forward to the HSBC China flash manufacturing PMI due out at 12.30pm: A further drop from August's 47.6 will add to concerns about a hard landing there. The Aussie is sensitive to news out of China, so we could see some movement there depending on the numbers.

12pm: Luxury accessories retailer OrotonGroup is preparing to embark on a year of transition after posting a flat profit for 2011/12 and breaking ties with American fashion house Ralph Lauren.

Oroton disappointed investors with news in August that its long-running licence deal to sell Ralph Lauren goods in Australia will expire in 2013.

Releasing its latest profit results on Thursday, Oroton said its new financial year would be one of transition following the loss of the Ralph Lauren business, which makes up 45 per cent of the group’s sales, half its assets and more than a third of its net profit.

11.44am: The ASX200 is still hovering at a loss of 0.3 per cent, not managing to break into the black. The main drag on the market comes from the materials sector, down 0.8 per cent, and energy stocks, down 1.7 per cent.

Financials are slightly higher, rising 0.1 per cent.

11.32am: Fortescue has reached a $US715 million ($681 million) deal with US investment firm Leucadia National Corp to repay a loan, the latest move by the world's No.4 iron ore producer to restructure its $US12.8 billion debt load.

Leucadia purchased $US100 million of unsecured notes in 2006. The notes were to pay Leucadia 4 per cent of the revenue from two of Fortescue's mines until maturity in August 2019 and were valued in Fortescue's book at $US897 million, Fortescue said.

"This agreement significantly reduces the overall cost of debt for the company," Fortescue chief executive Nev Power said in a statement.

Leucadia was one of the first big backers of Fortescue — one-third owned by billionaire founder Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest — as it embarked on an ambitious plan to build a series of new mines, a railway and port facilities to take on iron ore giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto in Western Australia's Pilbara district.

But Leucadia sued Fortescue and Forrest in 2010, saying it needed to protect the $US100 million subordinated note from potential dilution. Leucadia said the deal on Thursday would settle all legal action without any further payment.

Leucadia sold its equity stake in Fortescue between 2011 and July 2012, reaping a profit of more than $US1 billion on its $US444 million investment.

Fortescue shares were recently down 1.9 per cent.

11.21am: Brick and tile maker Brickworks has posted a 70 per cent fall in full year profit to $43.3 million.

Washington H Soul Pattinson, which owns 44.5 per cent of Brickworks plus a major stake on coal miner New Hope, posted a 60 per cent fall in full year net profit to $143 million. Brickworks shares were down four cents at $10.00, while WHSP was down one cent at $12.84.

11.18am: Looking at the down start to the day, RBS Morgans private client adviser Bill Bishop says some investors may have chosen to lock in profits after the local market’s recent move higher.

‘‘There are some in the market who are taking advantage of that and selling into what has been quite a handy little rally,’’ Mr Bishop said.

11.10am: Singapore Telecommunications, owner of Optus, has purchased New York-based photo sharing site Pixable for $US26.5 million, it announced today. Pixable aggregates photographs from other social media contacts – on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Flicker – into feeds for each user.

This latest purchase follows SingTel’s decision to buy online restaurants guides Eatability in Australia and HungryGoWhere in Singapore. In March SingTel acquired mobile advertising platform Amobee for $US321 million.

Recently SingTel restructured itself into three divisions across several countries – consumer, enterprise and business, and a division called Digital L!fe. The new acqusitions sit inside the Digital L!fe division where SingTel hopes to “develop next generation mobile services that make life easier for our mobile customers.”

11.05am: Billabong shares have slipped after coming out of a trading halt. They have lost 6.2 per cent, or 9 cents, to $1.355.

The dip comes after the surfwear retailer told the markets that a second private equity firm looking to make a takeover bid for the company has pulled out.

11.02am: And while we're on the subject of Asian economic data, a preliminary survey for China’s manufacturing activity in September is due today at about 12.30pm.

11am: Some more news from around the region. Japan's exports fell for a third straight month in the year to August while manufacturing sentiment hit its lowest since February - more evidence that slackening global demand is taking its toll on the export-reliant economy.

Exports fell 5.8 per cent in August from a year earlier, against a 7.3 per cent drop expected by economists, after posting the sharpest fall in six months in July, government data showed. Full story.

10.55am: The All Ords and the ASX200 have clawed back some of their early loss - now down 0.2 per cent for the day. The dollar, meanwhile, is down about 0.2 US cents from earlier today. It's now trading at $US1.046.

10.50am: Billabong shares are expected to come out of a trading halt at 11am. They last traded at $1.445.

10.47am: Virgin Australia pilots have rejected a new enterprise agreement and urged the airline’s management to table a better offer.

Almost two thirds of the airline’s pilots voted down proposals put forward in a new Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA), their union says. The Virgin International Pilots’ Association (VIPA) said sticking points include pay and overtime issues.

10.45am: The banks are also lower with the exception of ANZ:

  • CBA is 0.52% lower to $55.06
  • ANZ is 0.45% higher to $24.66
  • NAB is 0.2% lower to $25.48
  • Westpac is 0.53% lower to $24.37

10.41am: The big miners are having a rough start to the day as metals prices retreated:

  • BHP is 0.9% lower to $33.90
  • Rio is 1.23% lower to $57.09
  • Fortescue is 0.27% lower to $3.68

10.38am: Some economics news from across the Tasman. New Zealand’s economic growth slowed less than economists forecast last quarter amid stronger farm output and construction, bolstering a local currency that’s the strongest among major developed nations this year.

Gross domestic product rose 0.6 per cent in the three months ended June 30 from the previous quarter, when it expanded a revised 1 per cent, Statistics New Zealand said in a report released today. Growth was stronger than the central bank’s 0.4 per cent projection, which was also the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of 10 economists.

10.35am: Shares in Silex Systems have jumped as much as 10 per cent after it announced the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board had approved a licence application by its Global Laser Enrichment venture to build a commercial laser uranium enrichment plant in Wilmington, North Carolina.

The venture is a partnership with GE, Hitachi and Cameco, under which Silex will earn royalties of between 7-12 per cent of all revenues and in February RBS analysts valued the Wilmington project at $5.85 per share. Silex shares were recently trading at $4.31, up 25c.

Silex CEO Dr Michael Goldsworthy said the board's decision was an important milestone for the industry. "This is a great day for Australian technology, and we are very proud of our achievements.”

10.30am: Here are the best performed companies on the ASX200 in early trade. It's a real mixed bag:

  • Intrepid Mines: +6.52%
  • APN News & Media: +2.99%
  • Transpacific Industries: +2.82%
  • David Jones: +2.65%
  • Sigma: +2.27%
  • Fairfax: +2.2%
  • Qantas: +2%

10.24am: The slide in the Echo share price comes after Genting Hong Kong said it has no plans to sell its stake in Australia's the grtoup, a day after Genting's Singapore sister company sold its stake in the operator of Sydney's only casino.

In a surprise move, Genting Singapore yesterday sold its 4.8 per cent stake in Echo in a $165 million deal underwritten by Citigroup, saying it wanted to "rationalize its investments portfolio".

Echo shares have now lost 4.5 per cent to $3.91.

10.21am: Both the All Ords and the ASX200 are down 0.3 per cent now. Here are the biggest early sliders on the ASX200:

  • Aquarius Platinum: -9.26%
  • Gryphon Minerals: -4.79%
  • Senex Energy: -4.35%
  • Echo Entertainment: -3.9%
  • Linc Energy: -3.85%
  • Iluka: -2.49%
  • Pacific Brands: -2.44%

10.17am: All sectors on the ASX200 are down except for telecoms, which has added 0.63 per cent in early trade:

  • Energy: -0.83%
  • Consumer staples: -0.68%
  • Materials: -0.62%
  • Utilities: -0.58%
  • Health: -0.37%

10.14am: Some breaking Billabong news. A second private equity firm looking to make a takeover bid for surfwear retailer Billabong has pulled out.

Billabong told the market on September 6 it had received a second takeover offer from an unnamed private equity firm, just weeks after private equity firm TPG made an offer.

Both offers valued Billabong at $694.5 million, or $1.45 per share. Billabong said the second party to make a takeover offer had now withdrawn from the formal process.

10.12am: In early trade, the All Ordinaries index is 9.6 points lower, or 0.2 per cent, to 4430.8, while the benchmark S&P/ASX200 is 10.6 points lower, or 0.2 per cent, to 4407.8.

10.05am: Early take - stocks down 0.2 per cent as markets open.

9.57am: Australian bond futures prices are higher despite the Bank of Japan announcing a massive extension of its economic stimulus program and a surge in US housing activity.

UBS interest rate strategist Matthew Johnson said the two pieces of good news should have pushed bond prices down and encouraged investors to move into shares and risk currencies like the Australian dollar. ‘‘It doesn’t make a lot of sense, housing data was stronger and US Treasury Notes rallied,’’ he said.

At 8.30am, the December 10-year bond futures contract was trading at 96.795 (implying a yield of 7.440 per cent), up from 96.745 (3.255 per cent) on Wednesday. The December three-year bond futures contract was at 97.440 (2.560 per cent), up from 97.380 (2.620 per cent).

9.53am: The struggle over debt-laden Nine Entertainment has claimed a key executive at the private equity firm that controls the media company.

CVC Capital Partners managing partner Adrian MacKenzie is stepping down from the firm after 17 years, CVC said.

"It has been Adrian's decision to leave and he will remain a friend of the firm," said Rolly van Rappard, co-founder and managing partner of CVC.

The private equity group ended up with a controlling stake in Nine Network after it participated in a $5.6 billion buyout which concluded in 2008, when the company, known as PBL Media, was under the control of James Packer.

9.47am: The Merrill Lynch monthly survey of investors reported that concerns over the European debt crisis fell to second place in European fund managers’ list of risks for the first time since April 2011. The number one issue is the looming US fiscal cliff.

9.45am: CommSec’s Craig James says with lots of economic indicators trending sideways in recent months, or years in the case of the unemployment rate, there are a couple of things which could ‘‘shake the economy out of its recent lethargy’’.

He says one lead indicator to watch is global financial stability, and the other is luxury car sales. Mr James writes:

Currently the rolling annual total of luxury car sales is the same level as it was five years ago. Luxury car sales accelerated out of the GFC but over the past two years, there has been no identifiable trend. It is a case of watch this space.

9.42am: Here are some analyst rating changes for today:

  • Iluka cut to 'neutral' at Macquarie
  • Atlas Iron cut to 'neutral' at Macquarie
  • Grange Resources cut to 'neutral' at Macquarie
  • Macmahon Holdings cut to 'hold' at Moelis & Co
  • Macmahon Holdings cut to 'underperform' at BBY Ltd
  • TPG cut 'hold' from 'buy' at Patersons
  • TPG cut to 'sell' from 'hold' at RBS
  • Fortescue raised to 'buy' from 'hold' at RBS

9.39am: Following that CBA data, retailer Kathmandu’s full-year profit has fallen by 11 per cent. The outdoor clothing and equipment retailer made a net profit of $NZ34.9 million ($A27.87 million) in the year to July 31, down from $NZ39.1 million in the previous year.

Sales were higher than in the previous year, but profit margin shrank due to the cost of a new loyalty program, and costs were higher due to store relocations and refurbishments.

The company opened 10 new stores in the year, taking the total number to 120.

‘‘We will improve company performance by continuing to invest in our store network through opening new stores and relocating or refurbishing existing stores,’’ chief executive Peter Halkett said in a statement.

9.35am: We're looking at a thin day for local economics and company news, but there are a few things around early. The first is the CBA’s latest business sales indicator (BSI), which found that consumer spending dipped 0.4 per cent in August, in seasonally adjusted terms, following a 5.4 per cent plunge the previous month.

CBA acting executive general manager for local business banking Gary McGrath said the BSI showed already-cautious consumers were becoming even more conservative.

"Even though our economy is in good shape, consumers overall don't see the need to spend and they aren't being given any reason to do so, meaning it's more than likely they will continue to hold on to their money," Mr McGrath said in a statement. More here.

9.32am: Aussie stocks look set for a soft start despite offshore markets climbing overnight. Some of the overnight gains followed the Bank of Japan's announcement that it would stimulate the Japanese economy, but the benefit from the move might already have been priced into local markets before yesterday's close. Futures were down but the dollar edged higher against the greenback. Oil was down sharply again.

For a comprehensive look at this morning’s business news, check today’s need2know. Here are this morning’s key market links:

  • The SPI was 8 points lower at 4417
  • The $A was trading at $US1.0481
  • In the US, the S&P500 added 0.12% to 1461.05
  • In Europe, the FTSE100 added 0.35% to 5888.48
  • China iron ore lost 10 US cents to $US109.50 a metric tonne
  • Gold added 50 US cents to $US1771.70 an ounce
  • WTI crude oil lost $US3.31 to $US91.98 a barrel
  • RJ/CRB commodities index added 1% to 308.41

9.30am: Good morning. Welcome to the Markets Live blog for Thursday.

Contributors: Thomas Hunter, Peter Litras, Jens Meyer

This blog is not intended as investment advice

BusinessDay with agencies