Shares finished fairly flat today to conclude the month - the worst January in 4 years.
The ASX 200 (XJO) shed 2.9% in the month, mining stocks such as BHP (-3.1%) and particularly iron-ore exposed Rio Tinto (-3.6%) feeling the pain of the lower iron ore prices.
Naturally iron ore producer Fortescue Metals (FMG) felt that pain even more acutely with the share price closing at $5.33 having threatened $6 earlier in the month. Fortescue's production suffered a little from adverse weather in addition to the drop in the iron ore spot.
But perhaps the bigger story if that bank stocks have at last had some of the air sucked out of them in January.
Commbank dropped 4.2% to $74.23 in January, Westpac lost 3.9%, NAB shed 3.8% to $33.25 and ANZ lost a lost 5.9% to $30.13.
This in spite of evidence that business credit started to pick up in December, a point which ANZ highlighted yesterday.
The Reserve Bank's financial aggregates showed that business credit picked up by 0.4% in December, but this still lagged behing the acceleration in housing credit which increased by 0.6% in the month and by 5.4% over the past year.
As for retail, a few shockers this month: The Reject Shop (-35.3%), Super Retail Group (-19.4%) and JB Hi-Fi (-15.4%) variously suffering downgrades and trading woes respectively.
A bit of a slow week for data, but fear not, next week has some good stuff coming including Building Approvals figures on Monday and Retail Trade on Thursday. The excitement builds...!
Meanwhile, January came to a close with RP Data recording dwelling prices as having concluded an 8th consecutive month of rises in January, with no surprises that Melbourne and Sydney are leading the way.
Enjoy the weekend all!