Markets still on holiday: Aus shares close 0.06% lower

Market Reports

by Jessica Ellerm

It has been a lacklustre day of trade for the Australian share market. After opening in the red the local bourse tracked sideways for most of the day, before losing all will mid-afternoon.

As for the sectors, financials pulled the bourse lower, with Macquarie Group shedding 0.67 per cent. Westpac wasn’t far behind, down 0.45 per cent. Telco’s performed strongly, with ASX top 50 stock Telstra up 0.83 per cent.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 3.8 points down, or 0.06 per cent lower to finish at 6,061.

The value of trades was $2.3 billion on volume of 314 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 Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ASX:ANZ).

On the futures market the SPI is 12 points down.

Local economic 

AI Group has released December’s Performance of Manufacturing Index this morning. The PMI came in at 56.2, down 1.1 on the prior month but still over the 50 mark, a key indicator of economic expansion.

CoreLogic home value data released this morning showed home values across the nation dropped by 0.3 per cent compared to November. The downward slide was mainly driven by a drop-off of 0.9 per cent in Sydney and in Darwin. Hobart gained 1.5 per cent during the month.

Company news

Spring Financial Group (ASX:SFL) has announced it completed the acquisition of financial services dealer group Wealth Today. The business was purchased for $1.67 million, made up of cash, a convertible note and scrip. Shares were issued at $0.15 cents per share, a 25 per cent premium to Spring’s closing price last week. Shares in Spring Financial Group (ASX:SFL) closed 4.35 per cent lower at $0.11.

Trustees Australia Limited (ASX:TAU) has announced its subsidiaries Cashwerkz and RIM Securities have executed a Memorandum of Understanding with Australian Executor Trustees (AET), who are part of the IOOF group. The deposit marketplace business and fixed income specialist will combined provide a secure technology platform for AET’s Corporate Trust division, enabling the business to service clients with term deposits and defensive asset products. Shares in Trustees Australia Limited (ASX:TAU) closed flat at $0.17

Investment company First Growth Funds (ASX:FGF) has announced it will raise $3.45 million to expand into the blockchain sector.

Telecommunications company Norwood (ASX:NOR) has signed a contract with US-based investment bank JMP Securities covering the supply of all of Norwood’s enterprise service offerings.

Fibre optic systems company Future Fibre Technologies (ASX:FFT) has secured half a million dollars which will be used to protect more than 50 utility sub-stations in India.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Telecommunication Services adding 0.9 per cent to close at 1317. The worst performing sector was Health Care, shedding 0.56 per cent to close at 24,383. points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Pilbara Minerals Limited (ASX:PLS), rising 5.83 per cent to close at $1.18. Shares in Syrah Resources Limited (ASX:SYR) and Lynas Corporation (ASX:LYC) also closed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was IPH Limited (ASX:IPH), dropping 2.73 per cent to close at $5.35. Shares in Speedcast International (ASX:SDA) and Magellan Financial Group (ASX:MFG) also closed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lose 0.08 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 1.68 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 1.08 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,307 an ounce.
Light crude is steady at $US60.42 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 78.41 US cents.


Bitcoin has dropped 0.68 per cent to US$13,164
Ethereum gained about 13.42 per cent to $860
And Litecoin has added about 6.1 per cent to $242


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