Following negative offshore leads, the Australian share market opened lower and continued its soft performance throughout the day, with most sectors trading in the red.
Today, the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 15 points down to finish at 4,013. On the futures market, the SPI is currently 14 points down.
Ivanhoe Australia Limited (ASX:IVA) will issue 50 redundancies in an effort to reduce costs. The copper and gold miner is yet to confirm which positions will be cut, but aims to save about $10 million over the next two weeks and says the job cuts are “necessary first steps to improve the performance of the company.” Shares in Ivanhoe closed 1.64 per cent down at $0.60.
Fairfax Media Limited’s (ASX:FXJ) has advised Andrew Holden has been appointed as editor-in-chief of The Age replacing Paul Ramadge who resigned yesterday along with two other senior editors. Shares in the media company dropped 3.51 per cent today, after Gina Rhinehart indicated she would sell her 18.7 per cent stake in the media company, if she was not granted three seats on the board. Shares in Fairfax closed 3.51 per cent down at $0.55.
Lend Lease Group (ASX:LLC) has secured a $315 million contract to design and construct a major upgrade to Sydney’s M5 South West Motorway.
PaperlinX Limited (ASX:PPX) says it will divest its US and Italian operations in an effort to reduce costs and strengthen its financial position.
Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RIO) has started exporting premium hard coking coal from its Benga Mine in Mozambique, bound for an Indian steel mill.
Myer Holdings Limited (ASX:MYR) has announced plans to build a new full-line department store in Casuarina Sqaure in Darwin.
Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX:TLS) has won a five year $474 million contract with the federal Department of Human Services to create a unified communications network between its agencies.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Health Care adding 83 points to close at 9,070.
The worst performing sector was Industrials losing 35 points to close at 3,163.
The best performing stock in the S&PASX 200 was Billabong International Limited (ASX:BBG) recovering slightly from yesterday and rising 6.25 per cent to close at $1.02. Shares in Cabcharge Australia and Sigma Pharmaceuticals also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Seven West Media Limited (ASX:SWM) dropping 13.71 per cent to close at $1.70. Shares in Bathurst Resources and Perpetual also closed lower.
Gold is trading at $US1,583 an ounce. Light crude is $0.17 down at $US79.04 a barrel. The Australian dollar is buying $US1.004.