The Australian share market has ended the day slightly lower, investors are cautious ahead of this weekend’s Greek election.
The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 9 points to close at 4,064. On the futures market the SPI is 19 points lower.
The Westpac Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment increased by 0.3 per cent in June from 95.3 in May to 95.6 this month. Westpac Banking Corporation’s (ASX:WBC) chief economist Bill Evans says the small gain is another disappointing result.
Whitehaven Coal Limited (ASX:WHC) shares jumped today after receiving a non-binding privatisation proposal from billionaire Nathan Tinkler. But, the company says the offer is highly conditional and too incomplete to be considered as it stands. Whitehaven says they’ll be ready should a less conditional and more complete proposal be offered. Whitehaven Coal shares gained 4.5 per cent, closing at $4.18.
Macquarie Group Limited (ASX:MQG) has become a substantial shareholder in casinos operator Echo Entertainment Group Limited (ASX:EGP) with an interest of 5.1 per cent. Echo entered into a trading halt yesterday pending a capital raising announcement. Echo shares last traded at $4.49. Macquarie Group shares dropped 1.94 per cent, closing at $25.80.
Eureka Energy Limited (ASX:EKA) advises shareholders to take up Aurora Oil & Gas Limited’s (ASX:AUT) offer of 45 cents a share, even though the directors believe it undervalues the company.
SEEK Limited (ASX:SEK) abandons plans for a $125 million capital raising.
Computershare Limited (ASX:CPU) expects to take an impairment charge of around $60 million on its European business.
And Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX:FMG) and one of China’s largest steel producers consolidate their interests in the Glacier Valley and Northstar mining leases.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Utilites rising 23 points to close at 4,966. The worst performing sector was Financials Excluding Real Estate Investment Trusts, losing 28 points to close at 4,535 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Saracen Mineral Holdings Limited (ASX:SAR), rising 5.5 per cent to close at $0.58. Shares in Whitehaven Coal Limited (ASX:WHC) and FKP Property Group (ASX:FKP) also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Sundance Resources Limited (ASX:SDL), dropping 9.33 per cent to close at $0.34. Shares in Cabcharge Australia Limited (ASX:CAB) and Dart Energy Limited (ASX:DTE) also closed lower.
Gold is trading at $US1,609 an ounce. Light crude is $0.31 lower at $US83.01 a barrel.
The Australian dollar
The Australian dollar is buying 99.48 US cents.