It has been a lack-lustre start to the trading week for the Australian share market, which failed to follow Wall Street’s positive lead on Friday. Despite many sectors opening in the black at the start of the day, the market lost all of its puff in the last two hours of trade, closing the day 0.77 per cent lower. The big four banks all finished the session around 0.4 per cent lower, despite spending around half of the trading day in the black. Industrials and Healthcare also fared poorly with pallets business Brambles (ASX:BXB) shedding close to 17 per cent.
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 44 points down to finish at 5,611.
The value of trades was $4.7 billion on volume of 664 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Brambles Limited (ASX:BXB), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) and ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ).
On the futures market the SPI is 45 points down.
The total value of owner occupied housing commitments rose 0.4 per cent in November, according to latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The seasonally adjusted series for the value of total personal finance commitments rose 6.4 per cent.
Flight Centre Limited (ASX:FLT) and Optus have partnered in a $75 million technology deal. The agreement will see Optus Business provide more than a thousand Flight Centre stores around the country with a range of communication services. Flight Centre says the 5-year deal with Optus will enable it to provide a better experience for its customers. Shares in Flight Centre Limited closed 2.64 per cent lower at $30.27.
Brambles Limited (ASX:BXB) has announced its downgraded its underlying profit and sales revenue guidance for the period ending 30 June 2017.
Suncorp Group (ASX:SUN) has finalised the sale of its New Zealand Autosure motor insurance business to Turners Limited.
McGrath Limited (ASX:MEA) has announced its full year results for 2017, will be below analyst’s expectations.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was REITs adding 0.22 per cent to close at 1,326. The worst performing sector was Industrials, losing 3.97 per cent to close at 4,953 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN), rising 3.23 per cent to close at $2.24. Shares in Altium (ASX:ALU) and Incitec Pivot (ASX:IPL) also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Brambles (ASX:BXB), dropping 15.8 per cent to close at $10.34. Shares in Western Areas (ASX:WSA) and Nine Entertainment (ASX:NEC) also closed lower.
Blackstone Minerals Limited (ASX:BSX) started trading today. The minerals and exploration company listed with an issue price of $0.20, opened at $0.20 and closed at $0.205.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,215 an ounce.
Light crude is $1.12 higher at $US53.24 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7565.