Red finish: Aus shares close 0.36% lower

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

It has been a disappointing end to the trading session for the Australian share market, with the local bourse falling into the red at the open, and failing to resurface throughout the session.

At the end of the day, the ASX 200 lost 0.36%. While most sectors closed in negative territory. Telcos proved to be the heaviest weight on the market with losses of more than 2% in Telstra (ASX:TLS) and about 1.5% in Vocus Group Limited (ASX:VOC).

Heath care has been the only sector to buck the trend with CSL Limited (ASX:CSL) and Sirtex Medical (ASX:SRX) gaining around 1.4% each.

The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 21 points down to finish at 5,779

Value of Trades

The value of trades was $3.5 billion on volume of 558 million shares at the close of trade.

The top three stocks by value 

Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX:TLS), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) and BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP)

Futures

On the futures market the SPI is 20 points down.

Company news

Grange Resources Limited (ASX:GRR) has confirmed that a specialist contractor has been involved in a serious safety incident at the Savage River mine’s north pit in north-west Tasmania. The incident occurred on Friday. Grange says it’s currently working with WorkSafe Tasmania and is providing support to the contractor’s family. The mine’s operations have resumed in South Deposit, which is 5 kilometres away from where the incident occurred. Grange hasn’t provided any other details to the market, but The Mercury has reported the man has died. Shares in Grange Resources closed 6.98% lower at $0.20.

More company headlines

Sydney Airport Limited (ASX:SYD) announced stronger international passenger numbers on a yearly and monthly basis, compared to the prior corresponding period, despite the Chinese New Year timing difference and the leap year effect.

MG Unit Trust (ASX:MGC) has announced Murray Goulburn Co-operative Co. Limited appointed John Spark as the new Chairman of Murray Goulburn, and will replace Philip Tracey who will leave his post and the board on 31 March 2017.

Nine Entertainment Co (ASX:NEC) has appointed Samantha (Sam) Lewis as Non-Executive Independent Director. Sam was appointment immediatel. She will also chair the media company’s Audit and Risk Committee.

The best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Health Care adding 0.85 per cent to close at 22,126. The worst performing sector was Telcos, losing 2.03 per cent to close at 1,643 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Syrah Resources Limited (ASX:SYR), rising 6.32 per cent to close at $2.69. Shares in Japara Health Care (ASX:JHC) and Primary Health Care (ASX:PRY) also closed higher.

The worst performing stock was Fletcher Building Limited (ASX:FBU), dropping 9.95 per cent to close at $7.51. Shares in Harvey Norman Holdings (ASX:HVN) and Super Retail Group (ASX:SUL) also closed lower.

Commodities

Gold is trading at $US1,235 an ounce.
Light crude is down 5 cents at $US49.26 a barrel.

The dollar 

The Australian dollar is buying 77.29 US cents.