Muted finish: Aus shares close up 0.04%

Market Reports

by Carolyn Herbert

It has been a lack lustre end to the trading session for the Australian share market, spending the day underwater but then closing practically flat or 0.04 per cent higher. In terms of sector performance, REITs proved to be the biggest drag on the market followed by Staples and Consumer Discretionaries. The Industrials space was the star performer this session, but we also saw Health Care and Utilities finish the last trading day of the week on a high.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 3 points up to finish at 5,924.

The value of trades was $7.3 billion on volume of 875 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), CSL Limited (ASX:CSL) and Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC).

On the futures market the SPI is 7 points lower.

Asian markets

The Nikkei is 0.38 per cent lower, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is down 0.35 per cent and the Shanghai Composite is 0.26 per cent lower.

US markets

US major indexes were higher over the four trading days this week: The Dow Jones Industrial Average has added 2.07 per cent. The S&P 500 Index has added 1.68 per cent. The NASDAQ has gained 2.29 per cent. The 100 Index has added 2.32 per cent.

Economic news

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has reported that the final demand index for producer prices rose 0.5% in the March quarter 2017. This was mainly due to rises in the prices received for Electricity supply, gas supply; and water supply, as well as building construction and Petroleum refining.

Company news

Clean Seas Seafood Limited (ASX:CSS) says it has seen a strong improvement in cash flows for the third quarter of 2017. Year to date sales of fish in March were 27 per cent above the 1,283 tonnes reported for the same time last year. The company says its Kingfish continue to maintain excellent health and survival rates which continue to exceed the Company’s historical fish performance measures. Shares in Clean Seas Seafood closed 9.68 per cent up at $0.03.

Tatts Group Limited (ASX:TTS) says revised proposal from Pacific Consortium to buy 100% of Tatts for $4.21 cash per share is not superior to the proposed Tabcorp (ASX:TAH) merger.

Orocobre Limited (ASX:ORE) has announced its lithium production at its Olaroz facility dropped 21% from the prior period.

Tassal Group Limited (ASX:TGR) has announced it is proposing a transition to the new biomass limit at Macquarie Harbour in Tasmania, without compromising the environment, fish welfare or community.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Industrials adding 1.03 per cent to close at 5,516. The worst performing sector was REITS, losing 0.65 per cent to close at 1,416 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Orocobre (ASX:ORE), rising 7.14 per cent to close at $3.15. Shares in CSR (ASX:CSR) and Western Areas (ASX:WSA) also closed higher.

The worst performing stock was Platinum Asset Management (ASX:PTM), dropping 6.61 per cent to close at $4.66. Shares in A2 Milk (ASX:A2M) and Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST) also closed lower.

IPOs

UUV Aquabotics Limited (ASX:UUV) started trading today. The underwater drone company listed with an issue price of $0.20, opened at $0.215 and closed at $0.195.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,265 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.06 lower at $US49.24 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7475.
 

Carolyn Herbert

Finance News Network
Carolyn joined FNN in August 2015 as the Head of News and also presented the Market at Midday and the Market Wrap. With more than five years of broadcast journalism experience, Carolyn has worked as a finance anchor on the Sky News Business channel and as an anchor and reporter for ABC News. She is also a qualified corporate lawyer specialising in IPOs, takeovers and mergers and acquisitions.