Is this the correction we had to
have? The Australian stock market dived 46 points to a three-month low
of 4,017 in morning trade after Wall Street was again clobbered by
nervous investors fearing an economic slowdown. After dropping 104
points on Wednesday night, the Dow Jones dived another 125 points to
hit a five-month low of 10,278 overnight.

The Australian market
peaked at 4,256 on 21 March and has now fallen more than 5% from its
peak, wiping more than $50 billion off the value of Australian listed
equities. It takes a 10% fall to formally qualify as a correction but
we are now more than half way there.

The March quarter was the
worst in more than two years for Australian investors and now April has
moved further into negative territory, ending what has been a stellar
run for small and big investors alike. This will all be feeding into
the budget estimates being drawn up Peter Costello as a booming market
has underpinned those huge surpluses in recent years.

As someone
hoping to get back into shareholder activism, I’ve been waiting for the
over-priced market to fall for weeks now. Today represented the first
real buying opportunity in recent months so the following purchases
were completed this morning:

Alumina: 100 shares at $5.93
Pacific BBA: 250 shares at $2.22
Hutchison Telecommunications: 2,000 shares at 31c
Aristocrat: 50 shares at $10.40

These
four are all 31 December year end companies and have AGMs coming up in
the next few weeks. If you have shares in a company that is about to
front its shareholders and would like Crikey to attend as your proxy,
email [email protected] .