It has been a disappointing end to the Tuesday trading sessions for the Australian share market. After falling at the open the local bourse failed to gain any kind of traction as the day went on and ended up closing 0.83 per cent lower. The property space fared the worst today, and we also saw selling in the Financials sector after Moody’s downgraded the long term credit rating of the big banks. Consumer discretionaries was the shining light today with some small gains in the likes of JB Hi Fi (ASX:JBH) and Select Harvests (ASX:SHV).
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 48 points down to finish at 5,757.
The value of trades was $5.5 billion on volume of 752 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC) and BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP).
On the futures market the SPI is 32 points down.
Taking a look at how Asian markets are tracking in afternoon trade. The Nikkei is 0.9 per cent higher, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is down 0.2 per cent and the Shanghai Composite is 0.1 per cent lower.
According to latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics residential property prices rose 2.2 per cent in the March quarter 2017, marking four consecutive quarters of growth. Sydney and Melbourne both rose around 3 per cent for the quarter and Perth and Darwin fell by about 1 per cent.
Tatts Group Limited (ASX:TTS) and Tabcorp Holdings (ASX:TAH) have been given the green light to go ahead with their proposed merger. The ACCC decided to grant Tabcorp authorisation to combine with Tatts subject to one condition. That condition is that Tabcorp must divest its Odyssey gaming services business in Queensland. Shares in Tatts Group closed 3.6 per cent higher at $4.32.
Both ANZ Banking Group Limited (ASX:ANZ) and Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC) have informed the market that they, along with Australia’s other major banks, have had their long-term credit ratings downgraded by one notch to Aa3.
Mortgage Choice Limited (ASX:MOC) has appointed Vicki Allen as the new Chairman, to succeed Peter Ritchie following his retirement on 1 July 2017.
Employees at AGL Energy Limited (ASX:AGL)’s Loy Yang power station and mine in Victoria have approved a new enterprise agreement, via a secret ballot.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Consumer Discretionaries adding 0.4 per cent to close at 2,254. The worst performing sector was REITs, losing 2.1 per cent to close at 1,416 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Western Areas (ASX:WSA), rising 9.47 per cent to close at $2.08. Shares in Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY) and Isentia Group (ASX:ISD) also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG), dropping 3.72 per cent to close at $1.17. Shares in Saracen Minerals (ASX:SAR) and Infigen Energy (ASX:IFN) also closed lower.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,247 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.64 down at $US44.33 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7612.