Santa’s sleigh rewind: Aus shares close 0.3% lower

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

It has was a lacklustre day of the trade for the Australian share market which closed about 0.3 per cent lower.

We took a hit at the open, picked up at noon and lost steam in the afternoon with most of the market closing in the red. Property took the biggest hit after Charter Hall Group (ASX:CHC) fell 2.5 per cent.

Selling in some top 200 companies largely put a cap on gains today with Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) loosing about 4 per cent and Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR) following. While TCL (ASX:TCL) tolled over 4 per cent lower.

On the upside, Retail Food Group (ASX:RFG) saw the saw most gains, snapping its losing streak, gaining about 32 per cent.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 0.25 per cent lower or 15 points down on Thursday at 6,060.

The value of trades was $7.8 billion on volume of 983 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX:ANZ) and Westpac Banking Corp (ASX:WBC).

On the futures market the SPI is 33 points up.

Company news 

Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) handed down its tax contribution report noting its effective Australian tax rate for local operations fell from 67.9 per cent in 2016 to 29.9 per cent in 2017. Its global tax effective rate also fell compared to the prior year, down from 60.8 per cent to 30.6 per cent. Shares Wesfarmers closed 0.7 per cent lower at $44.65

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX:ANZ) has been notified that New Zealand’s Overseas Investment Office has declined HNA Group from buying ANZ’s UDC Finance.

BlueScope (ASX:BSL) was one of the top performing stocks today after it upgraded its EBIT to be around $460 million, up from $420 million for the 6 months ending 31 December 2017.

Mining and services company, Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) $526 million takeover of oil and natural gas play, AWE (ASX:AWE) has been given the nod by the AWE Board. AWE shareholders will receive 41.5 cents cash and Mineral Resources shares, which leaves an implied value of 83 cents per AWE share.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Energy adding 1.2 per cent to close at 10,731.
The worst performing sector was Reits, shedding 1.3 per cent to close at 1,427 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Retail Food Group Limited (ASX:RFG), rising 32 per cent to close at $2.15. Shares in Corporate Travel Management Limited (ASX:CTD) and Mineral Resources Limited (ASX:MIN) also closed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Pilbara Minerals Limited (ASX:PLS), dropping 4.2 per cent to close at $1.14. Shares in Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR) and GWA Group Limited (ASX:GWA) also closed lower. 

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.06 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.5 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.5 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,268 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.34 up at $US58.03 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 76.58 US cents.


Bitcoin has clawed back some of its losses and is trading at $17,191
Ethereum gained about 9 per cent to $870
And Litecoin has falen about 1 per cent to $330