It has been a somewhat flat finish for the last day of the trading week.
After opening in the black the local bourse was weighed down by disappointing economic data, coupled with about 20 companies going ex-dividend today.
On top of that, investors were also digesting a suite of financial reports from Top 200 companies.
The Consumer Discretionary space led half of the sectors lower and put a cap on gains with Tatts (ASX:TTS) shedding around 2.5 per cent after it went ex-dividend today.
Boart Longyear (ASX:BLY) also copped a hit and fell 5.8% per cent after it issued 12.8 billion shares and announced sweeping board changes.
Bucking the trend injecting the most gains was the Healthcare space with the likes of CSL (ASX:CSL) climbing about 2 per cent after announcing a on market buy back.
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 10 points higher or 0.18 percent higher to finish at 5,725. For the week the market lost 19 points.
The value of trades was $4.5 billion on volume of 678 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RIO),
On the futures market the SPI is 11 points higher.
Japan’s Nikkei has gained 0.21 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.02 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has risen 0.2 per cent.
The US major indicies were mixed over the four trading days this week: The Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen 0.62 per cent. The S&P 500 Index lost 1.17 per cent. The NASDAQ however has gained 2.54 per cent. The 100 Index has added 2.77 per cent.
Local economic news
Australian manufacturing activity dipped to a reading of 53.5 in August, from 54.4 in July, according to the Commonwealth Bank and IHS Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI). It is the lowest reading in a year, but still keeps the sector in expansionary territory.
Meantime, Dwelling values remained steady in August, according CoreLogic’s Home Value Index, despite some analysts forecasting a rise around 0.7 per cent.
Global litigation funder, IMF Bentham (ASX:IMF) has settled on a confidential case in Hong Kong. The case generated about $22 million in profit for the firm which was attributed to its FY17 results. Shares in IMF Benthan (ASX:IMF) closed 0.52 per cent higher to $1.94.
Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) has completed the sale of its thermal coal business to Yancoal Australia (ASX:YAL) for US$2.69 billion.
Asia Pacific Data Group (ASX:AJD) shareholders are set to benefit with 360 Capital lifting their take over proposal 15 cents per share to $1.95, a 3.7 per cent premium to the takeover offer by NextDC.
And Centuria Metropolitan Reit (ASX:CMA) will join the S&P/ASX 300 Index effective from the commencement of trading on September 18th 2017.
Best and worst performers of the day
The best performing sector was healthcare adding 1.13 per cent to close at 22, 638. The worst performing sector was Consumer Discretionary, losing 0.83 per cent to finish at 2,128 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY), rising 7.37 per cent to close at $2.04. Shares in Mayne Pharma Group (ASX:MYX) and Independence Group (ASX:IGO) also closed higher.
The worst performing stock on the S&P/ASX 200 was Harvey Norman (ASX:HVN), dropping 4.17 per cent to close at $3.91. Shares in Sky Network Television (ASX:SKT) and Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR) also closed lower.
Gold is trading at $US1,320 an ounce.
Light crude has risen $1.13 to close at $US47.09 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $79.37 US cents.