The Australian share market closed down 0.84% on the back of negative offshore leads, falling for the third straight day.
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 43 points down to finish at 5,038.
The value of trades was $5.5 billion on volume of 912 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were CBA, ANZ and WBC.
On the futures market the SPI is 40 points down.
The ABS reported the unemployment rate for November fell to 5.8 per cent seasonally adjusted from 5.9% in October due to an increase of 71,400 new jobs with the participation rate rising to 65.3%.This improvement follows a drop in the unemployment rate in October.
Select Harvests (ASX:SHV)
MD Paul Thompson today announcd the sale of its WA almond orchard project for $9.5 million. The decision was taken to sell following the outcome of a formal independent expert economic and horticultural review.Funds for the sale will be redeployed within the group. Shares in Select Harvests closed 1.57 per cent up at $8.39.
Debt collection and receivables management business Collection House( ASX:CLH) has announced a restructure aimed at driving efficiencies and improving profitability over the medium to long term. The company will book a one off cost of $1.1M against its first half results. Shares in Collection House closed 1.88 per cent down at $1.83
Fonterra Shareholders Fund (ASX:FSF)
has maintained its forecast Farmgate milk price of NZ$4.60 per kgMS. Chairman John Wilson said the stable forecast reflected the Board and management’s view that international prices would continue to improve in the first half of next year.
Austal Limited (ASX:ASB)
has cut FY2016 earnings from its US shipyard following schedule and margin pressure on the company’s Littoral Combat Ship program. Austal CEO Andrew Bellamy said the program was maturing more slowly than expected due to flow on effects.
Novogen Limited (ASX:NRT)
has appointed Dr James Garner as Chief Executive Officer. The new CEO is currently Head of the Unit Development Office, AP R&D with Sanofi, based in Singapore.
Tabcorp Holdings Limited (ASX:TAH)
has partnered with News UK to launch a new online wagering and gaming business in the UK and Irish markets.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Materials adding 0.7 per cent to close at 6,724. The worst performing sector was Financials excluding REITs, losing 1.5 per cent to close at 6822 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Arrium, rising 11.29 per cent to close at $0.07. Shares in Independence Group and Ardent Leisure Group also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Austal, dropping 25.44 per cent to close at $1.70. Shares in Whitehaven Coal and Mesoblast also closed lower.
Real Estate Investar Group Limited (ASX:REV)
started trading today. The real estate services company floated with an issue price of $0.20, opened at $0.21 and closed at $0.195.
Temple & Webster Group (ASX:TPW)
also started trading today. with an issue price of $1.10, opened at $0.97 and closed at $0.90.
And Wellard Limited (ASX:WLD)
started trading today. with an issue price of $1.39, opened at $1.39 and closed at $1.39.
Gold is trading at $US1,075 an ounce. Light crude is $0.35 down at $US37.16 a barrel. The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7289