It has been a disappointing end to the trading week for the Australian share market. Following a downturn in US markets, the local bourse fell into negative territory at the open and remained there for the rest of the session before closing 0.81 per cent lower. The materials space fared the worst today, with losses across the board, followed by the energy and financials sectors. Telcos were the only sector to finish in the black this session with TPG Telecom (ASX:TPM) gaining just over 1 per cent and Telstra (ASX:TLS) closing slightly higher.
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 47 points down to finish at 5,730.
The value of trades was $5.1 billion on volume of 809 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP), Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RIO) and Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX:TLS).
On the futures market the SPI is 53 points down.
Looking at Wall Street, US major indexes have risen over the four trading days this week: The Dow Jones Industrial Average has added 0.86 per cent. The S&P 500 Index has gained 0.61 per cent. The NASDAQ has added 0.27 per cent. The 100 Index has gained 0.37 per cent.
Lepidico Limited (ASX:LPD) has reiterated to its shareholders to take no action on the unsolicited takeover offer from lithium explorer and developer Lithium Australia (ASX:LIT). Under the proposed LIT offer, Lepidico shareholders will be offered 1 Lithium Australia share for every 13.25 Lepidico shares. Lepidico has described the announcement by Lithium Australia as ‘highly opportunistic’ and says it will respond formally to the offer through a Target Statement in due course. Shares in Lepidico Limited closed 7.69 per cent higher at $0.01.
Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RIO) says it a 57 mega tonne (MT) increase in its Pilbara iron Ore Reserves in Western Australia (WA).
The a2 Milk Company (ASX:A2M) has announced it will acquire an 8.2% shareholding in New Zealand dairy processing company, Synlait Milk Limited (ASX:SM1).
Property funds, Centuria Metropolitan REIT (ASX:CMA) and Centuria Urban REIT (ASX:CUA) have entered into a proposed Merger agreement.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Telcos adding 0.41 per cent to close at 1,622. The worst performing sector was Materials, losing 2.1 per cent to close at 9,915 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was A2 Milk (ASX:A2M), rising 3.64 per cent to close at $2.28. Shares in Spotless Group (ASX:SPO) and Virtus Health (ASX:VRT) also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG), dropping 9.58 per cent to close at $1.42. Shares in Tassal Group (ASX:TGR) and St Barbara (ASX:SBM) also closed lower.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,234 an ounce.
Light crude is $1.27 lower at $US52.56 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7560.