Tepid Tuesday: Aus shares close 0.22% lower

Market Reports

by Clive Tompkins

It has been a weak day of the trading with the market closing near session lows after moving into and out of positive and negative territory for much of the day.

Energy stocks did best after a 3 per cent gain in oil price overnight. REITs and Utilities also closed higher. Santos (ASX:STO) and Woodside rose over 3 and 2 per cent respectively. Amongst REITs Goodman Group (ASX:GMG) was up over 1 per cent. On the flip side, Consumer Discretionary stocks were the worst performers.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 13 points lower or 0.22 per cent to finish at 5,671.

The value of trades was $4.6 billion on volume of 663 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) and Westpac Banking Corp (ASX:WBC).

On the futures market the SPI is 16 points down.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.2 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.1 per cent.

Company news

Hard rock lithium developer, Altura Mining (ASX:AJM) has secured the final payment of its US$110 million senior secured debt facility to complete construction and development of the advanced Lithium Project at Pilgangoora in WA’s Pilbara region. Altura Managing Director, James Brown said the Company was now fully funded for the construction of the Altura Lithium Project. Shares in Altura Mining (ASX:AJM) closed 2.44% per cent higher at 21c.

Nufarm (ASX:NUF) has reported an 11.5 per cent revenue increase to more than $3.11 billion from $2.79 billion in the previous year in its 2017 financial year results. The agrichemical company’s underlying net profit after tax is up 25 per cent to $135.8 million.

Kathmandu (ASX:KMD) announced its 2017 financial year results, reporting an increase in net profit after tax of 13.5 per cent or NZ$4.5 million to NZ$38 million. The retailer reports a 4.6 per cent increase in sales in its Australian and New Zealand stores to NZ$445.3 million. Online sales now comprise 7.5 per cent of group sales.

Saracen (ASX:SAR) has agreed to sell its Western Australian Red October gold mine to Matsa Resources (ASX:MAT). The cash consideration for the binding agreement is $1 million with 4.545 million Matsa shares. Saracen will emerge with a 3.04 per cent stake in Matsa once the transaction is complete, anticipated to be in late October this year.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Energy, adding 1.9 per cent to close at 9,360.

The worst performing sector was Consumer Discretionary, shedding 1.25 per cent to close at 2,110 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was the Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY), adding 5.37 per cent to close at $2.55. Beach Energy (ASX:BPT), Santos (ASX:STO) also closed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Premier Investments (ASX:PMV) dropping 4.25 per cent to close at $12.83. Shares in Seven West Media (ASX:SWM) and Seven Group Holdings (ASX:SVW) also closed lower.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,312 an ounce.
Light crude is $1.47 up at $US52.13 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 79.43 US cents.