World events weigh, Aus dollar shines: Aus shares close 0.3% lower

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

It has been a lacklustre close for the day and week for the Australian share market in the wake of North Korea tension and another US hurricane.

But the Aussie dollar has sparkled, hitting a 2-year high against the greenback, after the US dollar slipped to its 2015-year low when the ECB advised it would rein it its economic stimulus.

After opening higher today, the local bourse entered selling territory and lost further momentum with selling across financials, energy, telcos and materials weighing us down.

Four sectors closed in the green, with AGL (ASX:AGL) rising over 2 per cent today, pulling up the utilites space after the energy operator quashed media speculation earlier this week that its Liddell coal fired power station would be sold off.

At the closing bell

The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 17 points down, or 0.30 per cent lower for the day, to finish at 5,673.

Over the week we lost 52 points.

The value of trades was $4.4 billion on volume of 621 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 Westpac Bank (ASX:WBC).

On the futures market the SPI is 17 points down.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.68 cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.4 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has added 0.1 per cent.

Wall Street

Over the three trading days this week the Dow Jones lost 0.93 the S&P 500 shed 0.46 per cent and the Nasdaq shed 0.59 per cent. The 100 index slipped 0.4 per cent

Local economic news

The ABS reported home loans or owner-occupied loans, grew 2.9 per cent from June to July, beating the 1 per cent growth expected. Meantime, investment lending fell 3.9 per cent in July from Jun. 

Company news

Austal (ASX:ASB) has been awarded a US$12.3 million contract by the United States Department of Defence. The global ship building company’s US Navy contract involves providing engineering and management services for advanced planning of Littoral Combat Ship USS Omaha. Austal will provide supplies, services, labour and material. Work will be completed by August 2018. Shares in Austal (ASX:ASB) closed 0.6 per cent higher at $1.68.

APRA appointed panel members for its inquiry into the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) after concerns about the big four bank fractured its reputation and public standing. A progress report will be handed down 31 January 2018.

Santos (ASX:STO) together with Origin Energy (ASX:ORG) signed a new agreement to support Australia’s manufacturing. Santos also raised and priced US$800 million 10-year unsecured fixed rate bonds.

And Centuria Capital Group (ASX:CNI) snapped a 17 per cent stake in industrial real estate group, PropertyLink Group (ASX:PLG)

The best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Utilites adding 1.00 per cent to close at 8,396.
The worst performing sector was Financials (ex-REITs), shedding 0.7 per cent to close at 6,906 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Syrah Resources Limited (ASX:SYR), rising 4.55 per cent to close at $3.45. Shares in Resolute Mining Limited (ASX:RSG) and Isentia Group (ASX:ISD) also closed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Retail Food Group (ASX:RFG), dropping 3.73 per cent to close at $4.64. Shares in Flexigroup (ASX:FXL) and Breville Group (ASX:BRG) also closed lower.

Commodities

Gold is trading at $US1,355 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.05 up at $US49.11 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 81.13 US cents.