It has been an uninspiring end to the trading session for the Australian share market, opening in negative territory and being unable to find its feet for the remainder of the session, closing the day 0.16 per cent lower. Telcos fared the worst today, followed by the Financials and Materials sectors. The Utilities space was the star performer this session, followed by Industrials, Consumer Discretionaries and REITs.
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 9 points down to finish at 5,735.
The value of trades was $4.6 billion on volume of 662 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), Suncorp Group (ASX:SUN) an BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP).
On the futures market the SPI is 11 points down.
Taking a look at how Asian markets are tracking in afternoon trade. The Nikkei is 0.28 per cent lower, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is down 0.19 per cent and the Shanghai Composite is 0.33 per cent lower.
Webjet Limited (ASX:WEB) has announced the acquisition of JacTravel, a market leading B2B Business with around 400 million pounds in total transaction value. Webjet paid 200 million pounds for the acquisition. The acquisition will be funded by a fully underwritten entitlement offer, cash and debt funding and the existing private equity owner of JacTravel. Shares in Webjet last traded at $11.10.
CSL (ASX:CSL) has completed a joint venture transaction to buy a majority stake in a Chinese plasma-derived therapies manufacturer.
Suncorp (ASX:SUN) has reported group net profit after tax of $1.075 billion (in FY17), a 3.6 per cent gain from the FY16.
Kathmandu Holdings (ASX:KMD) expects its NPAT to be between $37.4 million and $38 million, which is above FY16’s $33.5 million result.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Utilites adding 0.92 per cent to close at 8,451. The worst performing sector was Telcos, losing 0.51 per cent to close at 1,442 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Steadfast Group (ASX:ADF), rising 8.53 per cent to close at $2.80. Shares in Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST) and Flight Centre (ASX:FLT) also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (ASX:API), dropping 13.07 per cent to close at $1.53. Shares in Mantra Group (ASX:MTR) and Suncorp Group (ASX:SUN) also closed lower.
Sienna Cancer Diagnostics Limited (ASX:SDX) started trading today. The biotechnology company floated with an issue price of $0.20, opened at $0.20 and closed at $0.145.
Commodies and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,263 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.45 higher at $US49.61 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7924.