It’s been a sluggish start to the trading week. The local bourse opened in the red, clawed back some of its early losses with conservative gains Healthcare, Telcos, REITS and Energy. But it wasn’t enough save the market from closing in negative territory.
Losses in half of our sectors were lead by Utilities with AGL (ASX:AGL) and Bluglass (ASX:BLG) copping the some of the biggest hits. Adding to the drag was Financials, Consumer Discretionary and Industrials. QANTAS (ASX:QAN) leading industrials lower, after announcing it was half way through its share buyback.
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 12 points down finish at 5, 946.
The value of trades was $5 billion on volume 623 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RIO), NAB (ASX:NAB) and Commonwealth Bank (ASX:CBA).
On the futures market the SPI is down 6 points.
Japan’s Nikkei is down 0.6 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is down 0.1 and the Shanghai Composite is down 0.8 per cent.
Perpetual (ASX:PPT) has announced the resignation it’s CEO, Geoff Lloyd. After seven years with the company, he will step down on the 30th June 2018. As Perpetual began to strategic planning for the next 5 years, Mr Lloyd believed he would not be able to commit over the long term. Chairman, Tony D’Aloisio, congratulates Geoff for his strong results for the company. and says the search for his replacement will come from both internal and external candidates. Shares in Perpetual (ASX:PPT) fell 1. 1 per cent to close at $48.13.
De Grey Mining (ASX:DEG) has kicked-off resource infill and extension drilling at their gold mine project in Western Australia. Totaling 35 holes, the Toweranna drilling program aims to infill, extend and increase the recently announced high-grade resource. Seven holes have already been completed, where further drilling looks to increase the continuity of gold mineralization.The company also says the primary focus of the drilling is to work towards a later conversion to reserves in line with their open pit mining and development strategy.
Shares in De Grey mining (ASX:DEG) closed 5. 6 per cent down to 26c.
Carsales (ASX:CAR) has announced it has entered into an agreement to purchase the remaining 50 per cent of encar.com for $244million. Carsales now takes full ownership of the South Korean leading online auto classifieds, after purchasing the initial half in 2014.
Redflex Traffic Systems (ASX:RDF), has been awarded a 5 year $66 million contract with Roads & Maritime Services NSW. The contract will see the operation of mobile roadside speed enforcement.
Creso Pharma (ASX:CPH), a medicinal cannabis pharmaceutical company, has entered the Chinese market through a partnership with Hong Kong listed company, Zhejiang Kingdom Creative. The collaboration will see Kingdom Creative vertically integrate hemp-based products into nutraceuticals for human and animal health.
Best and Worst Performers
The best performing sector was Telcos adding 0.4 per cent to close at 1 247. The worst performing sector was Utilities down almost 2 per cent to close at 8402 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Seven Group Holdings (ASX:SVW), rising 8.16 per cent to close at $14.31. Shares in APN Outdoor Group (ASX:APO) and Southern Cross Media Group (ASX:SXL) also closed higher.
The worst performing stock in was Australian Agricultural Company (ASX:AAC), dropping 4.1 per cent to close at $1.30. Shares in Domain (ASX:DHG) and MYOB (ASX:MYO) also closed lower.
Superannuation fund, and financial services administration business, Netwealth Group (ASX:NWL) started trading today. It floated with an issue price of $3.70, opened at $4.88 and closed at $5.34.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,293 an ounce.
Light crude is $1.36 higher at $56.71 US barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 75.58 US cents.