It has been a lack lustre finish to the trading session for the Australian share market, despite a mostly positive trading day. The local bourse opened higher but lost momentum after lunch and ended up closing the day practically flat or 0.05 per cent higher. The telcos space ended up being the biggest drag on the market, followed by losses in the utilities sector. Healthcare was the star performer this session, along with Consumer Staples.
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 3 points up to finish at 5,878.
The value of trades was $6.4 billion on volume of 889 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) and Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC).
On the futures market the SPI is 9 points down.
Taking a look at how Asian markets are tracking in afternoon trade. The Nikkei is 0.33 per cent higher, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is up 0.33 per cent and the Shanghai Composite is 0.45 per cent lower.
Orecobre Limited (ASX:ORE) has had to clarify a news article suggesting it would list its shares in Argentina. The lithium producer says this is factually incorrect and has no plans to list in Argentina. It also hasn’t appointed Banco Santander as an advisor. Shares in Orecobre closed 2.27 per cent higher at $3.61.
Myer (ASX:MYR) released its third quarter trading results this morning, reporting year to date sales fell 1.3% to $2.44 billion.
GrainCorp (ASX:GNC) released its first half results this morning. The company reported its underlying NPAT was $100 million (an improvement on last year’s $32 million).
Hearing implant company, Cochlear (ASX:COH), has acquired Sycle LLC, the world’s largest provider of audiology practice management software.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Health Care adding 0.72 per cent to close at 23,931. The worst performing sector was Telcos, losing 1.25 per cent to close at 1,530 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Graincorp (ASX:GNC), rising 8.33 per cent to close at $9.88. Shares in Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR) and Australian Agriculture (ASX:AAC) also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was BT Investment Mangement (ASX:BTT), dropping 5.85 per cent to close at $12.23. Shares in Cleanaway (ASX:CWY) and Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) also closed lower.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,222 an ounce.
Light crude is $1.11 higher at $US47.34 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US73.56.