Market Wrap: Aus shares close 0.39% lower

Market Reports

Following weak leads, the Australian share market opened lower before closing 0.39 per cent down, marking its 6th straight day in the red and its worst start to the year. Local shares bounced on a positive Shanghai open but investors were unable to shake off the negative sentiment. 
 
Today, the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 20 points down to finish at 4,991. Over the week the index lost 305 points. 
 
The value of trades was $5.1 billion on volume of 832 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), National Australia Bank Limited (ASX:NAB) and ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ)
 
On the futures market the SPI is 16 points down.
 
Looking at Wall Street, US major indexes have fallen over the four trading days this week: The Dow Jones Industrial Average has lost 5.5 per cent. The S&P 500 Index has lost 5.2 per cent. The NASDAQ has lost 6.8 per cent. The 100 Index has lost 6.7 per cent. 
 
Economic news

Retail sales rose slightly in November. Data released by the ABS noted turnover increased 0.4 percent for the month, in line with expectations.
 
Company news
 
Smartgroup Corporation Limited (ASX:SIQ) is set to acquire selected assets of Trinity Management Group for an initial payment of $1.7 million. The transaction is expected to complete by the end of January and will be funded from cash and/or existing facilities. Shares in Smartgroup Corporation closed 2.18 per cent down at $4.94.
 
Gindalbie Metals Limited (ASX:GBG) has requested a trading halt pending an announcement to the market regarding the Karara Iron Ore Project. The trading halt remains in place until Gindalbie makes an announcement of prior to the commence of trade on Tuesday 12 January. Shares in Gindalbie Metals last traded at $0.021. 
 
Slater and Gordon Limited (ASX:SGH) has issued a statement in response to media reports the company’s key lenders have appointed insolvency firm McGrathNicol to check into its books. 
 
CIMIC Group (ASX:CIM) says its New Zealand subsidiary has been awarded a contract to build the Christchurch Hospital Acute Service Building. 

Best and worst performers
 
The best performing sector was Energy adding 2.8 per cent to close at 7,705. The worst performing sector was Consumer Discretionaries, losing 1.1 per cent to close at 1,893 points.
 
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Western Areas, rising 7.39 per cent to close at $2.18. Shares in Monodelphous and Woodside Petroleum also closed higher.
 
The worst performing stock was Bega Cheese, dropping 6.05 per cent to close at $7.45. Shares in Slater & Gordon and Platinum Asset also closed lower. 

Commodities and the dollar
 
The price of gold is trading at $US1,103 an ounce, and is up $42.22 over the week.
Light crude is $0.71 lower at $US33.26 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $0.7057 and is $0.022 down over the week.