Negative finish: Aus shares close 0.32% lower

Market Reports

by Carolyn Herbert

It has been a disappointing start to the week for the Australian share market, dropping at the open and remaining underwater for the rest of the session, then closing 0.32 per cent lower. REITs were the heaviest weight on the index this session, closely followed by the Energy space which sustained further losses on a weakening oil price. Telcos and Materials ended up coming out on top, with the gold stocks the shining light this session.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 18 points lower to finish at 5,757.

The value of trades was $4.4 billion on volume of 697 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG), BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) and Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO).

On the futures market the SPI is 23 points down.

Company news

WorleyParsons Limited (ASX:WOR) has signed a long-term multi-regional agreement with Chevron for engineering and procurement services. The company says the scope of the agreement allows use in all engineering phases on Chevron’s capital project program from conceptual engineering to final design. WorleyParsons has not disclosed the value of the agreement. Shares in WorleyParsons closed 0.97 per cent lower at $10.26.

Tabcorp Holdings Ltd (ASX:TAH) has lodged an application with the Australian Competition Tribunal for authority to proceed with the merger of Tabcorp and Tatts Group Limited (ASX:TTS).

Medicinal cannabis company MMJ PhytoTech Ltd (ASX:MMJ) has signed a binding letter of intent (LOI) with a leading pharmaceutical distributor and retailer to expand into Europe.

Diversified engineering and infrastructure company, RCR Tomlinson Ltd (ASX:RCR) has been awarded an $80 million contract for the Gannawarra Solar Farm in Victoria.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Materials adding 0.25 per cent to close at 9,622. The worst performing sector was REITs, losing 1.16 per cent to close at 1,327 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was St Barbara (ASX:SBM), rising 8.33 per cent to close at $2.47. Shares in Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) and Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG) also closed higher.

The worst performing stock was Sims Metal Management (ASX:SGM), dropping 2.95 per cent to close at $12.19. Shares in BWP Trust (ASX:BWP) and Oz Minerals (ASX:OZL) also closed lower.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,207 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.92 lower at $US48.91 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7567.