It has been a mixed day of trade for the Australian share market. After opening in the black the local bourse managed to maintain momentum throughout the session, pushing higher again after midday, before falling to close 0.21 per cent lower. The energy space flexed its muscle in today’s trading session, proving to be the strongest performer, thanks to US oil inventories reaching record levels. While the Materials, Consumer Staples, Health Care, Industrials, Financials and Discretionaries clawed back most the days gains, dragging down the local market.
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 12 points down to finish at 5,712.
The value of trades was $7.4 billion on volume of 1.10 billion shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP) and Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC).
On the futures market the SPI is down by 8 points.
Local economic news
The Australia Bureau of Statistics has reported stellar economic news today, with the seasonally adjusted Current Account Deficit (CAD) falling 62% to $3.9 billion for the December 2016 quarter. It comes following a 12% surge in exports for the period. It’s also the smallest Current Account Deficit since 2001.
Government taxation revenue increased 17.6%, while total general government expenses fell 1.8% in the same period, both compared to September quarter. Finally the ABS also reported general government sector expenses exceeded revenue by $2,115 million.
Metals X Limited (ASX:MLX) has announced a 251% increase in revenue to $128 million for the half year to 31 December 2016, compared to the prior corresponding period. The explorer and developer also reported its net profit after tax rose to $145.2 million, compared to the prior corresponding period. Metals X says its in a strong financial position with two profitable divisions, copper and tin, coupled with a world-class nickel project. Shares in Metals X Limited closed 4.6 per cent down at $0.83.
Bellamy’s Australia Limited (ASX:BAL) announced in the midst of its Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) that Rob Woolley resigned as Director and Chairman of the board. His resignation was effective immediately.
National Australia Bank Limited (ASX:NAB) has announced the previous New South Wales Premier and Treasurer, Mike Baird has been appointed as the bank’s Chief Customer Officer of Corporate and Institutional Banking. The bank also announced it appointed Sharon Cook as the Chief Legal and Commercial Counsel and Patrick Wright as Chief Technology and Operations Officer.
Infigen Energy (ASX:IFN) has announced it has secured a power purchase agreement (PPA) with EnergyAustralia for 60% of the output for its proposed wind farm project, Bodangora. Infigen also announced it reached an in-principal agreement to acquire its development partner’s 50% equity interest in the wind farm project.
The best and worst performers of the day
The best performing sector was Energy adding 0.9 per cent to close at 8,904. The worst performing sector was Materials, losing 0.8 per cent to close at 9,861 points.
The best performing stock was WorleyParsons Limited (ASX:WOR), rising 31.97 per cent to close at $10.65. Shares in Gateway Lifestyle Group (ASX:GTY) and Costa Group Holdings Limited (ASX:CGC) also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Orocobre Limited (ASX:ORE), dropping 15.15 per cent to close at $3.08. Shares in Spotless Group Holdings Limited (ASX:SPO) and Resolute Minting Limited (ASX:RSG) also closed lower.
Two companies listed today. Eildon Capital Limited (ASX:EDC) started trading. The real estate investment company listed with an issue price of $1.06, opened at $1.06 and closed at $1.08
Tianmei Beverage Group Corporation Limited (ASX:TB8) also started trading today. The distributor and promoter of consumer goods listed with an issue price $0.20, opened at $0.26 and closed at $0.235
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,254 an ounce.
Light crude is up by $0.05 at $US54.04 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying 76.85 US cents.