Stocks sink in a sea of red: Aus shares close 0.64% lower

Market Reports

by Jessica Ellerm

It has been a backward day of trade for the Australian share market. After opening in the black the local bourse began sinking from early in the morning, and was in the red by lunch. It marks the end of a 5 day period of gains for investors, with markets having now erased close to all of the gains made since the closing bell on 2 January.

As for the sectors, it was a sea of red, with no safe havens.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 39 points down, or 0.64 per cent higher/lower to finish at 6.097.

The value of trades was $5.1 billion on volume of 670 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP), Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RIO) and Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX:TLS).

On the futures market the SPI is 38 points down.

Company news

Experience Co Limited (ASX:EXP) has entered into a trading halt pending an announcement by the company about an incident at its New Zealand based skydiving operation NZone. News is coming in separate to the company’s announcement of a rescue operation currently underway at Lake Wakitipu, Queenstown, New Zealand after tandem skydivers crashed this afternoon. According to the New Zealand Herald, one man has been rescued but another is still missing. Shares in Experience Co Limited (ASX:EXP) last traded 1.16 per cent lower at $0.85.

Catapult Group International Limited (ASX:CAT) has announced it has signed a new GPS data agreement with Channel 9. The deal will cover all eight remaining matches against England in the Gillette One Day International and the T20 Series for the 2017/18 season. Under the agreement, Catapult will deliver data from its GPS-enabled wearable tracking technology to Channel 9 for use in live broadcast. The deal marks the fourth wearable data commercialisation agreement for live-sports broadcast for the company. Shares in Catapult Group International Limited (ASX:CAT) closed 2.12 per cent down today at $1.61.

Pathology practice Medlab Clinical (ASX:MDC) has announced it has received a licence from the Victorian government which allows the company to sell and supply cannabis.

Payment provider Pushpay (ASX:PPH) has announced it has surpassed its US$100 million annualised committed monthly revenue (ACMR) target by US$6.4 million, achieving US$106.4 million in ACMR to 31 December 2017, an 84 per cent increase over the year.

And Sales organisation Vita Group (ASX:VTG) announced it expects to deliver EBITDA of around $20 million for the six months to 31 December 2017, exceeding the initial guidance of EBITDA in the range of $16 million to $18 million.

Best and worst performers

Health Care dropped the least today, losing 0.2 per cent to close at 24,566

The worst performing sector was REITs, shedding 1.66 per cent to close at 1,382.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Magellan Financial Group (ASX:MFG), rising 4.69 per cent to close at $27.70. Shares Platinum Asset Management Limited (ASX:PTM) and Beach Energy Limited (ASX:BPT) also closed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Macquarie Atlas Roads Group (ASX:MQA), dropping 5.62 per cent to close at $5.88. Shares in HT&E Limited (ASX:HT1) and Pact Group Holdings Limited (ASX:PGH) also closed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.14 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has gained 0.68 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lifted 0.35 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,310 an ounce.
Light crude is up $1.63 to $US63.35 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 78.24 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin has dropped 3.96 per cent in the last 24 hours to $14,516
Ethereum has risen 13.05 per cent to $1306
And Litecoin has dropped about 3.34 per cent to $246