Despite the Australian share market tracking relatively flat at lunch time, the local bourse took a nose dive in afternoon trade and ended up closing the day 0.83 per cent lower. Today the consumer discretionaries space proved to be the biggest weight on the index with the likes of Crown Resorts and JB Hi-Fi falling into the red. The materials space also dragged down the local bourse with losses in the big miners BHP and Rio Tinto.
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 45 points down to finish at 5,389.
The value of trades was $4.5 billion on volume of 708 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 BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP).
On the futures market the SPI is 46 points down.
Whitehaven Coal Limited (ASX:WHC) says it has achieved a strong performance for the September quarter with saleable coal production up 20 per cent on the previous corresponding period to 5.2 million tonnes. The coal producer says it also improved its safety performance for the quarter with 9.9 recordable injuries per million hours worked compared to 10.6 at 30 June 2016. Shares in Whitehaven Coal closed 3.48 per cent higher at $2.97.
OceanaGold Corporation (ASX:OGC) has announced it has lost its compensation case against the El Salvador Government.
Saracen Mineral Holdings (ASX:SAR) has announced it has entered into an exploration partnership with AngloGold for its Carosue Dam North tenements.
Evolution Mining Limited (ASX:EVN) has announced it has entered into an agreement with a subsidiary of Newcrest Mining to acquire the Marsden copper-gold project.
Best and worst perfomers
The sector the least losses was Financials down 0.27 per cent to close at 5,990. The worst performing sector was Discretionaries, losing 2.46 per cent to close at 2,131 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Infigen Energy, rising 5.23 per cent to close at $0.81. Shares in A2 Milk and Whitehaven Coal also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Crown Resorts, dropping 13.9 per cent to close at $11.15. Shares in Costa Group and Saracen Minerals also closed lower.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,256 an ounce.
ight crude is $0.22 lower at $US50.74 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7603.