The Australian share market has experienced a flat finish to this Tuesday’s trading session, following lack-lustre leads from US markets overnight. The local bourse dropped at the open and struggled for direction for the rest of the session, and ended up closing the day 0.07 per cent lower. REITs were the worst performing sector this session, closely followed by Telcos, which endured its second day of losses. Utilities and Industrials did the bulk of the heavy lifting, but it wasn’t enough to offset the pullback in the other sectors.
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 4 points down to finish at 5,775.
The value of trades was $5.5 billion on volume of 1.1 billion shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC), Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA).
On the futures market the SPI is 4 points down.
Residential property prices have continued to heat up, according to latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Residential property prices rose 4.1 per cent in the December quarter 2016, the strongest quarterly growth recorded since the June quarter 2015. House prices rose 6.1 per cent in Sydney and 6.0 per cent in Melbourne.
Transurban Limited (ASX:TCL) has announced that an agreement has been reached with the Brisbane City Council to deliver the $60 million Inner City Bypass Upgrade project. Under the agreement Transurban Queensland will finance and project manage the delivery of the design and construction phases, amongst other services. Transurban Quueensland expects to reach contractual and financial close this month. Shares in Transurban Limited closed 1.08 per cent higher at $11.23.
TPG Telecom (ASX:TPM) has reported its NPAT lifted 11 per cent to $224 million for the six months ended 31 January 2017.
Outdoor and adventure retailer, Kathmandu Holdings (ASX:KMD), has reported the company's NPAT rose 6.4% to NZ$10 million for the six months ended 31 January 2017.
SEEK Ltd (ASX:SEK) has signed a deal to invest $118.5 million in Online Education Services (OES) – boosting its stake from 50% to 80%.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Utilities adding 0.98 per cent to close at 8,479. The worst performing sector was REITs, losing 0.78 per cent to close at 1,337 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Spotless Group (ASX:SPO), rising 48.97 per cent to close at $1.08. Shares in Bellamy’s (ASX:BAL) and Blackmores (ASX:BKL) also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Virtus Health (ASX:VRT), dropping 3.34 per cent to close at $5.50. Shares in Independence Group (ASX:IGO) and NextDC (ASX:NXT) also closed lower.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,229 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.40 lower at $US48.91 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7708.