The Australian share market pulled back from a strong start to the week as rising Spanish bond yields stole the focus from Greece’s pro-Europe election result. Stocks dropped at open but closed off session lows after the release of minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia’s latest meeting and ahead of US central bank officials meeting tonight.
The S&P/ASX 200 index lost 14 and to close at 4,123. On the futures market the SPI is 7 points lower.
Shares in Fairfax Media Limited (ASX:FXJ) finished as the day’s worst performer amid mixed analyst reviews for its newly announced cost cutting measures. Some analysts have welcomed the media company’s plans to slice $235 million in costs in three years while others say it may be too late to reverse declines in revenue. Shares in Fairfax Media fell 8.46 per cent today, closing at $0.59.
The Federal Court has approved a record $200 million class action settlement for the shareholders of shopping centre owner Centro Retail Australia Limited (ASX:CRF). Today’s ruling marks and end to the long running action brought against Centro and its former auditor PriceWaterhouseCoopers and will see some of Centro’s shareholders receive hefty payouts. Shares in Centro Retail Australia slipped 0.25 per cent, closing at $2.00.
Engineer Downer EDI Limited (ASX:DOW) has scored a $71.7 million contract to deliver electrical and instrumentation work to BHP Billiton Limited’s (ASX:BHP) Jimblebar iron ore mine in Western Australia.
Singapore Telecommunications Limited’s (ASX:SGT) Australian arm Optus has moved a step closer in its 4G expansion, today wrapping up its $230 million purchase of wireless broadband provider vividwireless from Seven Group Holdings Limited (ASX:SVW).
Paint maker DuluxGroup Limited (ASX:DLX) has extended its $188 million bid for all the shares that it does not already own in building materials company Alesco Corporation Limited (ASX:ALS) July 20, 2012.
Electrical retailer Harvey Norman Holdings Limited (ASX:HVN) is investing into solar panels, placing a 5 megawatt order of solar equipment with diversified renewable energy company CBD Energy Limited (ASX:CBD).
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Health Care adding 36 points to close at 9,210.
The worst performing sector was Energy, losing 178 points to close at 12,580 points.
The best performing stock in the S&PASX 200 was Lynas Corporation Limited (ASX:LYC), rising 8.56 per cent to close at $1.02. Shares in Gryphon Minerals Limited (ASX:GRY) and Integra Mining Ltimited (ASX:IGR) also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Fairfax Media Limited (ASX:FXJ), dropping 8.46 per cent to close at $0.59. Shares in APN News and Media Limited (ASX:APN) and Bathurst Resources Limited (ASX:BTU) also closed lower.
Gold is trading at $US1,630 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.32 down at $US82.95 a barrel.
The Australian dollar
The Australian dollar is buying $US1.014.