Market Wrap: Aus shares slide lower

Market Reports

The Australian share market closed 1.04 per cent lower today after weak negative leads from overseas markets. Oil prices continue to sink to their lowest levels in five years with no signs of improvement into the New Year. 
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 57 points down to finish at 5,417. 
 
The value of trades was $2.4 billion on volume of 411 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) and ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ)
 
On the futures market the SPI is 81 points down.
 
Company news
 
In a second announcement made to the market just after lunch, pure copper play CuDeco Limited (ASX:CDU) said that it’s Rocklands copper mine in Queensland was producing some of the world’s highest copper grades. The Rocklands project contains 11 main ore bodies with 2 of these ore-bodies encompassing a unique supergene- enriched zone which CuDeco maintains is producing some of the purest copper ore ever seen. These zones are yielding up to 47 per cent copper purity with CuDeco placing a truck load of 30 per cent copper ore at $210,000 value. CuDeco says it is currently extracting between 300 – 400 truck loads per day. After the news was released shares in CuDeco shot up by 18.15 per cent, closing at $1.73. 
 
Carbon Energy Limited (ASX:CNX) has responded to an ASX enquiry about its increased stock price and trading volume. The clean energy supplier says it knows of no reason its share price has nearly doubled putting the increase down to investors digesting a market update issued on 22nd December as they return from holidays. Carbon Energy enjoyed a huge spike in its share price in September after confirming gas reserves at its Blue Gum Gas Project in Queensland’s Surat Basin had doubled to be rated the fifth largest reserve in the state. The first commercial shipment of natural gas from the Surat basin was loaded for export yesterday. Shares in Carbon Energy Limited (ASX:CNX) shed 2.22 per cent to $0.04 in today’s trade. 
 
Human resources enterprise start up 1-Page Limited (ASX:1PG) says it has snared one of America’s top hospitality companies, Destination Hotels & Resorts, as a major client.  
 
Mark Bouris’ TZ Limited (ASX:TZL) will continue to pursue a contract with Malaysia’s sole postal services provider, Pos Malaysia, after the deal missed a key deadline.  
 
Growthpoint Properties Australia Limited (ASX:GOZ) will pay around $7 million for 1.1 hectare site in Mulgrave, east of Melbourne and develop it into a seven storey suburban office building. 
 
And 360 Capital Group Limited (ASX:TGP) has established 360 Capital Retail Fund No.1, an unlisted fund which will acquire two shopping centres for $68 million. 
 
Best and worst performers

All sectors were down today, the sector with the least losses was financials excluding real estate investment trusts slipping 0.6 per cent to close at 7,279. The worst performing sector was energy, losing 1.9 per cent to close at 11,560 points.
 
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Regis Resources, rising 6.56 per cent to close at $1.95. Shares in Arrium and Atlas Iron also closed higher.
 
The worst performing stock was Horizon Oil, dropping 6.06 per cent to close at $0.15. Shares in Cabcharge and Leighton Holdings also closed lower. 
 
Commodities

Gold is trading at $US1,189 an ounce. Light crude is $1.12 down at $US53.61 a barrel. The Australian dollar is buying 81.27 US cents.