Following weak leads from US markets, the Australian share market opened sharply lower and continued the trading session in the doldrums before closing down 0.53 per cent. The index was weighted down by the big banks today, all of which finished the day in the red. The materials and energy sectors painted a bit of a mixed picture, but the gold miners were the shining light today after a jump in the price of the precious metal overnight.
Today, the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 27 points lower to finish at 4,938. Over the week the index lost 62 points.
The value of trades was $3.8 billion on volume of 570 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA)
, Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC)
and ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ)
On the futures market the SPI is 31 points lower.
Looking at Wall Street, US major indexes have retreated over the four trading days this week: The Dow Jones Industrial Average has lost 1.4 per cent. The S&P 500 Index has slipped 1.5 per cent. The NASDAQ has lost 1.4 per cent. The 100 Index has slid 1.3 per cent.
Origin Energy Limited (ASX:ORG)
has entered into a $30 million agreement to sell its interest in an Indonesian Geothermal Project in North Sumatra. The sale is consistent with the company’s strategy to reduce debt and narrow its focus to two core businesses, being Energy Markets and Integrated Gas. Shares in Origin Energy closed 3.87 per cent lower at $4.47.
OZ Minerals (ASX:OZL)
says it will deliver another $25 million in cost reductions, having already delivered $20 million in savings since the program began last year.
CSR Limited (ASX:CSR)
has announced the resignation of Chief Financial Officer Greg Barnes.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was REITs adding 0.4 per cent to close at 1,356. The worst performing sector was Financials excluding REITs, losing 1 per cent to close at 6,142 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Evolution Mining, rising 5.73 per cent to close at $1.66. Shares in Growthpoint and Fortescue also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Iluka Resources, dropping 5.67 per cent to close at $5.82. Shares in Select Harvests and Whitehaven Coal also closed lower.
China Dairy Corporation (ASX:CDC)
started trading today. The dairy company listed with an issue price of $0.20, opened at $0.24 and closed at $0.25.
Commodities and the dollar
The price of gold is trading at $US1,237 an ounce, and is down $14.81 over the week.
Light crude is $0.49 lower at $US37.26 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $0.7535 and is down 1.4 cents over the week.