Market Wrap: ASX puts the brakes on weekly rally

Market Reports

Despite positive leads the Australian share market slipped at open and ended 0.2 per cent lower despite rallying 0.8 per cent over the holiday shortened week. The mining and financial sectors dragged today with all Big Four Banks and major miners ending in the red. 
On the economic front official figures showed total lending commitments jumped in April while house prices were shown to have climbed 2.4 per cent in the March quarter. In the week ahead the RBA will be in focus with speeches from officials on Monday and minutes from the latest meeting due on Tuesday. 
The S&P/ASX 200 index ended 11 points lower, trimming a weekly gain of 47 points to close at 5,545. 
The value of trades was $4.4 billion on volume of 653 million shares at the close of trade. 
The top three stocks by value were Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC), BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP) and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA)
On the futures market the SPI is 13 points lower. 
Wall Street
America’s major indices have lifted over the four trading days this week: The Dow Jones Industrial Average has added just over 1 per cent. The S&P 500 Index has added 0.8 per cent. The NASDAQ has added 0.3 per cent. The 100 Index has added 0.3 per cent. 
Company news
Uranium miners were in focus today after Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RIO) backed Energy Resources of Australia Limited (ASX:ERA) revealed it will abandon its expansion plans. Halting the expansion of the controversial Ranger uranium mine near Kakadu will also see Rio Tinto face a potential write down of $US300 million. Following the news shares in uranium plays Paladin Energy Limited (ASX:PDN) and Toro Energy Limited (ASX:TOE) both rose about 5 per cent by close. Shares in Rio Tinto slipped 0.6 per cent and shares in Energy Resources of Australia sank 48.26 per cent to close at $0.67.
Shares in Abacus Property Group (ASX:ABP) gained after inking a $115 million deal with Goldman Sachs to buy a property in Sydney. Subject to approvals both group’s are set to jointly acquire 201 Pacific Highway, St Leonards and settlement is expected in August. Shares in Abacus Property Group gained 3.15 per cent to end the week at $2.95. 
Shares in Mirvac Group (ASX:MGR) ended steady after the property investor said it had bought a development site in St Leonards, Sydney from CIMIC Group Limited (ASX:CIM) for about $121 million. 
Shares it Atlas Iron Limited (ASX:AGO) remain in a trading halt the iron ore miner has announced its chairman David Flanagan will return to the position of Managing Director, replacing Ken Brinsden who will become executive director. 
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was utilities, adding 0.9 per cent to close at 6,633.
The worst performing sector was materials, losing 0.6 per cent to close at 9,179 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Ten Network Holdings Limited (ASX:TEN), rising 6 per cent to close at $0.27. Shares in Paladin Energy Limited (ASX:PDN) and Regis Resources Limited (ASX:RRL) also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Myer Holdings Limited (ASX:MYR), dropping 5.45 per cent to close at $1.30. Shares in Senex Energy Limited (ASX:SXY) and Transpacific Industries Group Limited (ASX:TPI) also closed lower. 
The price of gold is buying $US1,182 an ounce, up $3.99 over the week. 
Light crude is $0.60 lower at $US61.22 a barrel. 
The Australian dollar is buying $0.7726, up $0.0026 over the week. 

That is the Market Wrap on Friday 12 June. I’m Lelde Smits and thank you for joining me on the Finance News Network. 

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