Thanks Gttrain. Half-time round-up:The share market hit a...

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    Thanks Gttrain.

    Half-time round-up:

    The share market hit a 14-month high this morning before news of a slump in exports dragged the resource sector into the red.

    At lunchtime the ASX 200 was eight points or 0.2% ahead at 4441 after earlier reaching its strongest level since early August last year. A broad rally lifted most sectors until the 11.30am EST release of trade figures showed an unexpected blowout in the terms of trade. The data helped pull market heavyweights BHP and Rio Tinto underwater and the metals & mining sector down 0.7%. Gold stocks -1.6% and health -0.g% were also notably weak. Property trusts +0.9% was the pick of the sectors, followed by consumer discretionary +0.8% and energy +0.5%.

    The trade deficit widened to $2.03 billion in August, the biggest gap since March 2008. Exports declined 3% as ores and minerals dropped 7% and coal 11%. The news helped drag the dollar down another third of a cent to US$1.0223.

    Housing news was no brighter, with sales of new home sales dropping to a 15-year low. Sales declined 5.3% in August, extending a 5.6% slump in July, according to Housing Industry Association figures released this morning.

    Asian markets edged higher. Hong Kong's Hang Seng resumed following a two-day holiday with a rise of 0.57% and Japan's Nikkei added 0.1%. Shanghai remained closed. Dow futures were recently down 21 points or less than 0.2%.

    Crude oil futures eased four cents this morning to US$91.61 a barrel. Spot gold was $4.70 weaker at US$1,772 an ounce.

    Today's soft economic data implies the Reserve Bank got it right yesterday. And they've certainly done us traders a favour, providing a turbo boost that pushed the XJO through resistance this morning. I took profits on the last of my CFU and traded the first bounce off the low in RRL. Back in again now on the latter.
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