The Australian share market had a lackluster day of trade falling almost 0.9 per cent, wiping out yesterday’s gains.
From the outset investors were concerned as the Dow Jones took its biggest hit this year, on fears the bull market could end after the benchmark 10-year yield broke above 2.7 per cent for the first time in about four years. In the US it spooked investors that higher interest rates would dampen buoyed markets and here it took a toll too.
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed with a loss of 53 points or 0.9 per cent lower at 6,023.
For big swings, two education providers, claimed some of the worst and best performing posts today, with early child hood education provider G8 Education (ASX:GEM) rising over 3 per cent and higher education provider Navitas (ASX:NVT) going the other way, sliding over 9 per cent.
For the big miners, Sandfire Resources (ASX:SFR) shares bucked the trend today kicked about 3 higher on the back of stronger quarterly report. Explosives company Orica (ASX:ORI) and small lithium play, Global Geoscience (ASX:GSC) finished higher. While a fall in some of the commodity prices took its toll as the us dollar strengthened, putting most of our miners in red territory.
The value of trades was $4.6 billion on volume of 671 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP), Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG).Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA)
On the futures market the SPI is 41 points down.
Local economic news
Business confidence grew from the prior reading, but disappointed economists and the forecasts expectations, according to NAB’s business survey.
We saw the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) increase its majority holding in Independence Group (ASX:IGO) taking its holding in the group from 3.51 per cent to now owning 6.09 per cent of the mining and exploration company. The news saw its shares jump today but it then slumped 2.5 per cent lower at $5.07.
One of Australia’s leading gold producers Westgold Resources (ASX:WGX) reported a 25 per cent spike in gold sales and a rise in gold output in the December quarter. For the quarter its earnings hit $19.84 million. The news was better than the market excepted which saw its shares closed 3.2 per cent higher at $1.60
Iron ore giant, Fortescue (ASX:FMG) had a yo-yo day of trade, after it reported a mixed quarterly update with an increase in mined iron ore in the second quarter of this financial year, while its total ore shipped fell 8 per cent in the quarter. At the same time, its production costs fell.
Navitas (ASX:NVT) reported weaker half year profits, revenues and earnings for the half year ending 31 December 2017, noting its half-year profit fell 53.6 per cent to $24.7 million
And GetSwift (ASX:GSW) has appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to review its continuous disclosure obligations as well as working on a comprehensive market update about the ASX’s queries.
The gold explorer and developer, Black Cat Syndicate (ASX:BC8) started trading today. It floated with an issue price of $0.29, opened at $0.29 and it closed at $0.30.
Best and worst performers of the day
The sector with the least amount of gains, finanical which lost 0.6 per cent to close at 7,222. The worst performing sector was energy, shedding 1.3 per cent to close at 10,942. points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Fletcher Building Limited (ASX:FBU), rising 3.6 per cent to close at $7.00. Shares in G8 Education Limited (ASX:GEM) and Invocare Limited (ASX:IVC) followed higher.
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was xx Navitas Limited (ASX:NVT), dropping 9.4 per cent to close at $4.75. Shares in Credit Corp Group Limited (ASX:CCP) and Pilbara Minerals Limited (ASX:PLS) followed lower.
Japan’s Nikkei has lost 1.4 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has shed 0.9 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has slipped 0.7 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,336 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.62 lower at $US65.52 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 80.68 US cents.
Bitcoin has fallen 3 per cent to $11,129
Ethereum shed about 5 per cent to $1,160
And Tether has gained about 1 cent to 99.87 cents.