Higher over the week: Aus shares close 0.7% lower on Friday

Market Reports

by Clive Tompkins

The Australian share market closed lower for the third straight day, following on from Wall Street’s red run. The ASX200 dropped at the open on the back of the US indices closing lower after President Donald Trump announced tariffs on steel and aluminium.

All local sectors traded lower and failed to recover through the session, however clawed back some early losses in afternoon trade.

Some gold stocks had a bit of rally today with the likes of St Barbara (ASX:SBM) and Saracen Minerals (ASX:SAR) closing over 2 per cent higher. The likes of Australian Pharmaceuticals (ASX:API) and Domino’s Pizza Enterprises (ASX:DMP) also enjoyed a rally and were some of today’s best performers.

Bega Cheese (ASX:BGA) was upgraded to a buy by UBS, but its shares remained in the red. And it’s also important to note, that quite a lot of companies went ex-dividend today. That held us back too.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 44 points down, or 0.7 per cent lower to finish at 5,929. Over the week we gained 25 points for the week.

The SPI is 46 points lower.

The value of trades was $5.6 billion on volume of 742 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP), Speedcast International (ASX:SDA) and Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO).

Company news

A CIMIC Group (ASX:CIM) company, UGL is set to generate $250 million as part its support for the Royal Australian Navy’s ANZAC warships. The five-year program agreement has been developed over an 18-month transition period for the continued support of the Navy’s ANZAC Class C Frigates. Shares in CIMIC (ASX:CIM) closed 0.8 per cent lower at $45.17.

Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) reported it’s set to invest growth in Silvergrass, Amrun and Oy Tolgoi projects. At the same time it announced significant changes in estimates of ore reserves and mineral resources across a number of its sites.

Auckland Airport (ASX:AIA) has seen a record number of passengers for the second consecutive month. Over a million international passengers passed through its airport in January, more than the previous record set in December.

Grange Resources (ASX:GRR) has reported a full year profit after tax of $60.7 million on the back of iron ore market uncertainty in the first half of the year.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was REITs, losing 0.2 per cent to close at 1306. The worst performing sector was Telcos, shedding 1.70 per cent to close at 1186. points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Saracen Minerals (ASX:SAR), rising 2.4 per cent to close at $1.70. Shares in Regis Resources (ASX:RRL) and Dominos Pizza Eneterprises (ASX:DMP) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY), dropping 6.60 per cent to close at $3.11. Shares in Myer Holdings (ASX:MYR) and Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR) followed lower.

Asian markets and Wall Street

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 2.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 1.5 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.4 per cent.

Wall Street wrapped up the four trading days this week lower.

The Dow Jones lost 2.9 per cent, the S&P 500 lost 2.6 per cent and the tech heavy Nasdaq lost 2.2 per cent, while the 100 index lost 2.2 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,3173 an ounce.

Light crude is $0.30 down at $US61.34 a barrel.

One Australian dollar is buying 77.55 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading higher. Bitcoin has gained 5.3 per cent to US$11,008, Tether is flat at $1 and Ethereum gained about 1.3 per cent to US$872.