Friday falls: Aus shares close 0.66% lower

Market Reports

by Carolyn Herbert

It has been a disappointing end to the trading week for the Australian share market, which fell away at the open and lost momentum in afternoon trade closing 0.66 per cent lower. The financials space beared the heaviest weight on the local bourse this session with all of the big four banks finishing between 0.7 and 1.5 per cent lower. Healthcare was the best performer this session, followed by the utilities space.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 37 points down to finish at 5,655, losing 66 points over the week.

The value of trades was $4.4 billion on volume of 659 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were CSL Limited (ASX:CSL), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) and Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC).

On the futures market the SPI is 24 points down.

US markets

Looking at Wall Street, US major indexes retreated over the three trading days this week: The Dow Jones Industrial Average has lost 0.8 per cent. The S&P 500 Index has slipped 0.5 per cent. The NASDAQ has lost 0.6 per cent. The 100 Index has retreated 0.2 per cent.

Company news

Hunter Hall International (ASX:HHL) says it expects operating revenue for the half year ended 31 December 2016 to be approximately 4 per cent higher than the $8.34 million recorded in the previous comparable period. Despite the departure of CEO Peter Hall, the company intends to pay an interim dividend for the HY. However that dividend is likely to be lower than Hunter Hall’s stated dividend policy of 100% of NPAT. Shares in Hunter Hall International closed 1.64 per cent lower at $2.40.

BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP), its Brazillian mine partner, Vale and joint venture company Samarco, have entered into a preliminary agreement with Brazilian Prosecutors to settle on the Brazilian dam disaster by 30 June 2017.

Santos Limited (ASX:STO) says for the period ended 31 December 2016 its annual sales volumes increased by 31 per cent, while its annual production jumped 7 per cent.

AGL Energy Limited (ASX:AGL) has finalised a new four year agreement with Alcoa.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Healthcare adding 1.1 per cent to close at 21,085. The worst performing sector was Financials excluding REITs, losing 1.2 per cent to close at 7,178 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Infigen Energy (ASX:IFN), rising 7.53 per cent to close at $1.00. Shares in Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY) and CSL Limited (ASX:CSL) also closed higher.

The worst performing stock was Sims Metal Management (ASX:SGM), dropping 5.66 per cent to close at $4.17. Shares in South32 Limited (ASX:S32) and Asaleo Care (ASX:AHY) also closed lower.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,207 an ounce, it gained $11.88 over the week.
Light crude is $0.28 higher at $US52.17 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7572 and it up 0.7 of a cent over the week.


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