Despite a positive lead from Wall Street, the local share market ran out of puff in afternoon trade and ended up closing the day 0.43 per cent lower. The financials space took a turn for the worse after lunch, with investors selling off the big banks resulting in CBA and Westpac losing around 1.5 per cent. The energy space also reversed its early gains with Oil Search closing almost 3 per cent lower on the back of its results release, and Santos losing around 1.5 per cent.
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 22 points lower to finish at 4,980.
The value of trades was $5.7 billion on volume of 924 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP)
, Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX:TLS)
and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA)
On the futures market the SPI is down 8 points.
Tower Limited (ASX:TWR)
says it’s in the early stages of assessing the impact of Cyclone Winston that caused extensive damage in Fiji. The company says its has a significant reinsurance program in place, which will contribute to reduing Tower’s exposure to the cyclone event. The company says its possible that the maximum impact on the company will be NZ$7.2 million after tax. Shares in Tower last traded at $1.46.
QBE Insurance Group (ASX:QBE)
has announced a 7 percent fall in net profit to US$687 million for the year through December 2015.
Freelancer Limited (ASX:FLN)
has reported a 48 per cent increase in revenue to $38.6 million in its FY15 results.
Resmed Limited (ASX:RMD)
has announced a definitive agreement to acquire Brightree for $800 million, a leader in business management and clinical software applications for the post-acute care industry.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Materials adding 0.85 per cent to close at 7,154. The worst performing sector was Telcos, losing 2.1 per cent to close at 1,886 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Seven Group Holdings, rising 10.39 per cent to close at $5.10. Shares in Austal and Qube Holdings also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Isentia Group, dropping 13.64 per cent to close at $3.80. Shares in Qantas and Automotive Holdings also closed lower.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,221 an ounce.
Light crude is $1.64 higher at $US33.39 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7231.