North Korea weakens bourse: ASX200 closes 0.72% lower

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

It has been another sour close for the Australian share market share market after North Korea launched a missile over Japan before the market open. At 10am the local bourse sank on the back of the news, with selling across most of sectors not allowing the market to recover.

The only sector that saw gains was Utilities with the likes of AGL (ASX:AGL) adding 1.4 per cent.

On the back of the weakness, Gold stocks and the precious metal itself rallied with Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) gaining over 2.2 per cent while Forestcue Metals (ASX:FMG) rose about 1.4 per cent.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 41 points lower, or 0.72 per cent lower to finish at 5,669.

The value of trades was $6 billion on volume of 837 million shares at the close of trade.

The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), Westpac (ASX:WBC) and ANZ (ASX:ANZ).

On the futures market the SPI is 51 points lower.

Asian markets 

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.40 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has shed 0.33 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.05 per cent.

Company news 

Northern Minerals (ASX:NTU) has inked a US$30 million research and development loan facility. The Australian heavy rare earths developer’s new two-and-a-half-year loan will fast track its tax offsets for its R&D activities at the Kimberly in Western Australia. As part of the loan, Northern Minerals will work with Deloitte to estimate the level of tax offsets applicable at the end of each quarter. Shares in Northern Minerals (ASX:NTU) closed 3.57 per cent lower at $0.14.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has proposed to rollout Woolworths (ASX:WOW) discount programs at participating BP service stations.

Caltex Limited (ASX:CTX) has reported its net profit after tax (NPAT) fell by 17 per cent on FY16 to $265 million for the first half 2017 financial year.

Regional Express (ASX:REX) has recovered from its 2016 loss and posted a $12.6 million profit, representing a 232 per cent gain for the 2017 financial year.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Utilites adding 0.57 per cent to close at 8,201.
The worst performing sector was Consumer Discretionary by the skin of its teeth with Financials not that far behind. Consumer Discretionaries shed 1.22 per cent to close at 2,142 points. Financials lost 1.21 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Altium Limited (ASX:ALU), rising 11.76 per cent to close at $9.50. Shares in Resolute Mining Limited (ASX:RSG) and Blackmores Limited (ASX:BKL) also closed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Chorus Limited (ASX:CNU), dropping 6.55 per cent to close at $3.71. Shares in Australian Agricultural Company Limited (ASX:AAC) and Nanosonics Limited (ASX:NAN) also closed lower.

Commodities and the dollar 

Gold is trading at $US1,318 an ounce.
Light crude is $1.06 lower at $US46.81 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 79.30 US cents.

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