Weak Start: Australian shares close 0.3 per cent lower | Finance News Network

Weak Start: Australian shares close 0.3 per cent lower

Market Reports

by Anna Napoli


The Australian share market started the trading week on weak footing losing ground after commodities fell. But in afternoon trade we began to recoup our losses.

Materials and Info Tech were the only sectors trading higher today with Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY) up over 5 per cent and tech company Next DC (ASX:NXT) up over 4 per cent.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank share price fell 2 per cent today on the back of the release of its half yearly results.

JB Hi-Fi and Myer were among the worst performers, both companies shares fell over 7 per cent.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 0.3 per cent lower or 17 points down at 5821.

On the futures market the SPI is 4 points up.

The value of trades was $5.5 billion on volume of 782 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 NAB (ASX:NAB).

Company News

Video and TV platform, Big Un’s (ASX:BIG) stock bounced today after its chairman Hugh Massie confirmed that he’d disclosed his interests in the company. The revelation comes after the company last week quashed media speculation about its cash flow and working capital. Shares closed 12.5 per cent higher at $1.80.

Home entertainment retailer JB Hi-Fi (ASX:JBH) released it’s half year profit results today, sales were up by 41 per cent, net profits were up 37 per cent and the company declared a dividend of 86 cents per share. However, Shares in JB Hi-Fi took a dive as the company missed the mark on its guidance.

Meantime, rail company, Aurizon Holdings (ASX:AZJ) reported its first half 2018 financial year net profit fell 5 per cent, but it declared higher dividends and its shares were one of the top performers today.

Glove and condom company Ansell (ASX:ANN) saw its net profit after tax rise over 500 per cent to $428 million dollars in the half year ending 31 December 2017. Meantime, its total revenue fell 1.2 per cent over the period to $766 million. It comes as the business sold its sexual wellness business in the six months. The announcement also earned it a spot as one of today’s worst performers.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was materials, closing 0.88 per cent higher at 11407
The worst performing sector was utilities, shedding 2.22 per cent lower at 7297.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was galaxy resources (ASX:GXY), rising 5.6 PER CENT per cent closing at $3.21. Shares in Iron Mountain Incorporated (ASX:INM) and NextDC (ASX:NXT) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was JB Hi-Fi (ASX:JBH), dropping 8 per cent to $25.86. Shares in Myer Holdings (ASX:MYR) and SEVEN west mEDIA (ASX:SWM) followed lower.

Asian Markets

 Asian markets were mostly higher

Japan’s Nikkei traded flat 21 383, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has gained 0.6 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.8 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US 1324 an ounce.
Light crude is $1.95 lower at $US58.99 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 78.29 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading higher. Bitcoin gained 5 per cent to US$8,541, Ripple gained 11 per cent to $1.06 and Ethereum gained 5 per cent $849 US dollars.