It was a disappointing session for the Australian share market today; after plunging into the red at the open, the local bourse was unable to find any kind of momentum throughout the session and ended up closing 0.66 per cent lower. The energy space weighed most heavily on the market after the price of Brent crude dropped around 4 per cent overnight. The financials space ended up finding some traction this afternoon with all of the big four banks closing higher. Not a good day for gold stocks though, we saw some heavy profit taking on the likes of St Barbara and Beadell Resources.
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 34 points lower to finish at 5,103.
The value of trades was $7 billion on volume of 1.06 billion shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX:TLS), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) and BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP).
On the futures market the SPI is 24 points lower.
National Storage REIT (ASX:NSR) has announced it has entered into arrangements to acquire the Southern Cross portfolio of assets which is currently manages and partly owns through a joint venture with Heitman, as well as four additional storage centres in Australia. The company says the acquisitions will be funded via a combination of debt and a $260 million equity raising. Shares in National Storage REIT last traded at $1.78.
Newcrest International, a subsidiary of Newcrest Mining Ltd (ASC:NCM), has signed a binding agreement with New Talisman Gold Mines in relation to the Rahu Project in NZ.
Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX:EVN) has announced its preliminary 2016 FY results. The company says it produced 800,000 ounces of gold from 7 mines at a very low cost, which resulted in a net cash flow of $405 million.
Lithium Australia NL (ASX:LIT) and Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) have teamed up to progress the development of Sileach.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Utilities adding 0.05 per cent to close at 7,466. The worst performing sector was Materials, losing 1.5 per cent to close at 7,817 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Whitehaven Coal, rising 2.88 per cent to close at $1.07. Shares in Spark Infrastructure and Macquarie Group also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was St Barbara, dropping 8.54 per cent to close at $3.00. Shares in Saracen and Regis Resources also closed lower.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,317 an ounce.
Light crude is $1.31 down at $US46.33 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7404.