It has been a bouncy day of trade for the Australian share market, with half of the market closing in the red, leaving us with an overall flat finish for the Thursday.
In the morning the Discretionary sector led us lower after Amazon’s Australian e-commerce business rattled markets. But after middy, Utilities overtook as the worse performing sector, but then Discretionary space slipped further after Amazon’s local business went live, taking its first online orders (as part of its 'soft launch').
We saw a lot of heavy selling from skittish traders. Billabong (ASX:BBG) lost about 7.6 per cent, Webjet (ASX:WEB) fell 6.7 per cent and Coca-Cola (ASX:CCA) shed 4.9 per cent. While Bega Cheese (ASX:BGA) and Domino’s Pizza Enterprises (ASX:DMP) also are copped a hit.
Going the other way and chiming higher was the Materials and Energy space, that gained 0.7 per cent each after the iron ore price rose over 3 per cent, while the US crude oil price pushed above its 2 year high.
Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) popped as the highest out the energy players, rising 2.8 per cent after it announced an immediate lift in its capabilities, production and cash flow at its AGM.
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 0.2 points lower at 5,986.
The value of trades was $5.1 billion on volume of 629 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 Corporation (ASX:WBC).
On the futures market the SPI is 6 points lower.
Oz Minerals (ASX:OZL) awarded a 3-year contract to telco and content business, Swift Networks (ASX:SW1). Swift will provide a broad suite of content and connectivity to Oz Minerals’ South Australian 550 bed accommodation. Shares in Oz Minerals (ASX:OZL) closed 0.4 per cent higher at $8.49
On the back of Amazon launching operations in Australia, Woolworths (ASX:WOW) says it's changing its focus from turning around the business to better serving its customers and that’s its priority for FY18. To achieve this, it advised shareholders at its AGM it will be better training and supporting its teams.
Cromwell Property Group’s (ASX:CMW) European Real Estate Investment Trust (CEREIT) is planning to list on the Singapore Exchange on 30 November 2017. The IPO is fully underwritten by Goldman Sachs and UBS just to name a few.
And Australia’s largest motoring and logistics group Automotive Holdings Group (ASX:AHG) announced it’s selling its refrigerated logistics business for $400 million, with the proceeds to grow its retail operations.
Propel Funeral Partners Limited (ASX:PFP) started trading today. The second largest private provider of death care services in Australia floated with an issue price of $2.70, opened at $3.50 and it closed at $3.30.
And SelfWealth Limited (ASX:SWF) started trading today. The share trading platform floated with an issue price of $0.20, opened at $0.21 and it closed at $0.16
Best and worst performers of the day
The best performing sectors are Energy and Materials, Energy added 0.7 per cent to close at 10,260.
The worst performing sector was Discretionary, shedding 0.75 per cent to close at 2,276. points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Automotive Holdings Group (ASX: AHG), rising 6.9 per cent to close at $3.70. Shares in Beach Energy Limited (ASX:BPT) and NEXTDC (ASX:NXT) also closed higher.
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Webjet (ASX:WEB), dropping 6.7 per cent to close at $9.79. Shares in Coca-Cola Amatil (ASX: CCL) and THE A2 Milk Company (ASX:A2M) also closed lower.
Asian markets are mixed: Japan’s Nikkei is not trading due a public holiday, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.7 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.86 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,290 an ounce.
Light crude is $1.23 up at $US58.06 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 76.23 US cents.