Red finish: Aus shares close 0.52% lower

Market Reports

by Carolyn Herbert

It has been a disappointing end to the trading session for the Australian share market, despite what looked like a promising start to the trading week. The local bourse bounced at the open but lost all momentum throughout the session and ended up closing the day 0.52 per cent lower. While all sectors finished the day in the red, Utilities proved to be the biggest drag on the index.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 30 points down to finish at 5,744.

The value of trades was $4.8 billion on volume of 681 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RIO) and BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP).

On the futures market the SPI is 28 points down.

Asian markets

Taking a look at how Asian markets are tracking in afternoon trade. The Nikkei is 0.39 per cent lower, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is up 0.45 per cent and the Shanghai Composite is 0.05 per cent higher.

Company news

Macmahon Holdings Limited (ASX:MAH) has advised that all conditions precedent have now been satisfied and that the AMNT Transaction was completed earlier today. It says AMNT’s nominees Mr Alex Ramlie and Mr Areif Sidarto have been appointed as directors of Macmahon. Shares in Macmahon Holdings Limited closed 5.88 per cent higher at $0.18.

Commonwealth Bank (ASX:CBA) has decided to scrap short-term variable remuneration outcomes for the CEO and Group Executives for the financial year ending 30 June 2017.

Transurban Group (ASX:TCL) has reported a $209 million statutory profit from continuing in FY17, a surge ahead in comparison to FY16’s $22 million.

Shopping Centres Australasia Property Group (ASX:SCP) has reported its statutory net profit after tax rose 73 per cent in FY17, per cent to $319.6 million.

Best and worst performers

The sector with the least losses was Staples losing 0.14 per cent to close at 9,308. The worst performing sector was Utilities losing 1.2 per cent to close at 8,346 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was IOOF Holdings (ASX:IFL), rising 6.05 per cent to close at $10.70. Shares in Saracen Minerals (ASX:SAR) and Aconex (ASX:ACX) also closed higher.

The worst performing stock was Mayne Pharma (ASX:MYX), dropping 9.55 per cent to close at $0.81. Shares in Trade Me Group (ASX:TME) and James Hardie (ASX:JHX) also closed lower.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,260 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.27 lower at $US49.31 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7923.