Market Wrap: Aus shares close lower

Market Reports

Aussie stocks managed to come off earlier lows but still closed in the red today as the 2010 financial year came to a close. Concern for the global economic outlook, a slowing in China’s growth rate and uncertainty surrounding the stability of Europe’s banks rattled the market today and weighed on investor sentiment.

Treasurer Wayne Swan also made comment this afternoon that there is no timeline to conclude talks with the mining industry over the proposed resources tax.

The S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 44 points to finish at 4,302. And on the futures market, the SPI200’s down 76 points.

To company news around this afternoon: Lend Lease Group (ASX:LLC) has signed a project development agreement to formalise its $2.5 billion redevelopment of Brisbane’s Ekka showground. The agreement was signed with the Royal National Agricultural and Industrial Association of QLD and is subject to a number of conditions. Managing director Steve McCann says the company is pleased to enter into the formal development agreement following RNA’s selection of Lend Lease as preferred developer in May 2009. Lend Lease says financial close on the deal is expected to be completed in the next three months. Shares in Lend Lease closed 0.81% weaker at $7.33.

Gold miner Intrepid Mines Ltd (ASX:IAU) says its board has unanimously accepted a sweetened offer from Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX:NST) for Intrepid’s Paulsens gold mine in Western Australia. Northern Star Resources increased its bid for the gold mine to $40 million from an initial bid of $27 million, to reflect a stronger gold price and extended mine life. The price of gold has jumped by over $200 since Northern Star made its original bid for the mine. Shares in Intrepid Mines closed 0.98% lower at $0.505

Also making news: STW Communications Group Ltd (ASX:SGN) has reconfirmed guidance of double digit net profit after tax growth for calendar 2010, as previously announced at its annual general meeting in May. For 2009 the company recorded net profit of $21.8 million up 27.9% on its 2008 result.

Navigator Resources Ltd (ASX:NAV) shares jumped at one point today before closing flat, the company saying it continues to ramp up output activities at its Bronzewing gold mine in WA, and is on track to achieve its 100,000 ounce annual production target heading into the 2011 financial year.

Global miner Rio Tinto Ltd (ASX:RIO) says it will exercise warrants to purchase shares which will increase its stake in Ivanhoe Mines by 7.3% to 29.6% for US$393 million.

And Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (ASX:FMG) CEO Andrew Forrest had reportedly struck a secret deal on the government’s proposed resources tax with former PM Kevin Rudd, and is now calling on Julia Gillard to match or better the deal achieved with Rudd.

In the best and worst performers: Majority of sectors closed in the red today, however the only sector at close in the black was the Utilities index, up 49 points at 4,059. The sector with the biggest loss was the Real Estate Investment Trust index, down 16 points at 844.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ ASX200 was Cudeco, shares rose 8.8% to $4.70. Shares in Elders and Panoramic Resources also closed higher.

The worst performing stock was Ausenco, shares fell 7.69% to close at $1.80. The company today announced it would incur a $6.8 million impairment charge in its half year accounts. Shares in ROC Oil and Medusa Mining also closed weaker today.

In commodities, gold is trading at $1,242.35 U.S an ounce, and light crude is down $0.23 at $75.71 U.S a barrel.

Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter?

Would you like to receive our daily news to your inbox?