It has been a negative day of day of trade for the Australian share market and a sour end to the week on the back of Wall Street heading towards its biggest weekly fall since October 2008.
But the local bourse dropped like a stone at the open and started to recoup some losses in the afternoon with the Dow Jones futures pointing to a gain. Adding to the ASX sentiment we also had a good economic report card from the RBA (which will be covered later).
All the sectors closed lower today with energy stocks falling the most amid the oil price dropping to its month low, while small energy player Global Energy Ventures (ASX:GEV) bucked the trend and rose.
We also some other diamonds in the rough with today with gold stocks gaining, as well as iron ore players such as Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG). And in the lithium space, small companies like Argosy Mineral (ASX:AGY) rose 4 per cent along with Tawana Resources (ASX:TAW).
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 0.9 per cent or 53 points lower at 5,838. Over the week we lost 283 points or 4.9 per cent lower over the week.
Turning to the futures market the ASX 200 SPI is 41 points lower, while the Dow Jones is now pointing to a smaller gain as the US government officially shut down with Congress failing to pass a spending bill in time.
The ASX value of trades was $7.2 billion on volume of 1 billion shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RIO) and BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP).
Local economic news
Home loans fell more than expected, month on month, and investment lending dropped for December, according to fresh data released by the ABS today.
Meantime, the RBA is forecasting economic growth to improve, with GDP tipped to grow to 2.75 per cent for the year ending June 2018. It’s expecting the unemployment rate will drop to 5.25 per cent from 5.5 per cent and CPI or inflation to lift to 2 per cent but remain low. All this was released in the monetary policy statement. And in lieu of that the ANZ (ASX:ANZ) came out and said it doesn’t expect the RBA to lift interest rates this calendar year.
AusNet (ASX:AST) has priced or raised $500 million through its 10.5 year Australian dollar bond issue. It is using the proceeds of the bond to refinance existing debt and fund continued growth. Shares in AusNet (ASX:AST) has closed 0.6 per cent higher at $1.63.
Capilano Honey (ASX:CZZ) is expecting this year’s honey crop to be the largest in over a decade, but despite that its announced its net profit fell about 29 per cent to $4.2 million for the half year ending 31 December 2017, while its revenue lifted to $70.3 million. Capilano Honey (ASX:CZZ) shares closed 2.3 per cent lower at $16.94.
Myer (ASX:MYR) is expecting its first half 2018 net profit to be between $37 and $41 million on the back of weaker trading. It comes as its total sales fell 3.6 per cent to $1.7 billion in the first half of FY2018. Myer noted that the 2H is not likely to improve either amid the rise online shopping and subsequent drop in its foot traffic.
Online real estate advertising company REA Group (ASX:REA) announced its reported profit dived 55 per cent in six months to 31 December 2017 to $132.4 million, compared to the prior corresponding period. Its revenue rose on the back of real estate agents paying to feature more prominent property adds.
And casino operator Sky Entertainment Group (ASX:SKC) reported its net profit rose 12 per cent in the six months to 31 December 2017 to NZ$93.5 million while its total revenue lifted about 4 per cent. It also declared it will pay an interim dividend of NZ$0.10 cents per share in March.
Best and worst performers of the day
The best performing sector was property losing 0.5 per cent to close at 1,299.
The worst performing sector was energy, shedding 2.1 per cent to close at 10,241 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Evolution Mining Limited (ASX:EVN), rising 4.5 per cent to close at $0.00. Shares in Resolute Mining Limited (ASX:RSG) and Carsales.com Limited (ASX:CAR) followed higher.
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Myer Holdings Limited (ASX:MYR), dropping 9.3 per cent to close at $0.58. Shares in Wisetech Global Limited (ASX:WTC) and Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) followed lower.
All lower: Japan’s Nikkei has lost 2.9 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has fell 3.4 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 4.2 per cent.
Wrapped up the four trading days this week lower: The Dow Jones fell 6.9 per cent, The S&P 500 fell 7 per cent and the tech heavy Nasdaq shed 6.8 per cent, while the 100 index dropped 7.2 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,317 an ounce.
Light crude is $1.37 lower at $US60.42 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 77.75 US cents.
The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading lower: Bitcoin has lost 2 per cent to US$7,963, Ethereum shed about 2 per cent to US$796 and Tether has lost 0.8 per cent to US$1.00.