The Australian share market opened lower after some heavy tech-led losses on Wall Street.
A2 Milk slipped almost 8 per cent.
Meanwhile, The Trump administration has signalled that any cap imposed on Australian steel shipments to the United States will be more generous than import limits placed on major metal producers in South Korea and some other countries. South Korea faces a 30 per cent cut in steel sales, in a deal announced on Wednesday.
As for the sectors utilities performed well. Companies such as AGL Energy (ASX:AGL) rose as did packaging company Amcor (ASX:AMC). Meanwhile ANZ saw a drop (ASX:ANZ)
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 43 points down, or 0.7 per cent lower to finish at 5790.
On the futures market the Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 20 points up.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 45 point gain.
The value of trades was $5.7 billion on volume of 710 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Westpac (ASX:WBC) Commonwealth bank (ASX:CBA) and NAB National Australia Bank (ASX:NAB)
Quiksilver owner US Hedge Fund Oaktree capital management has increased its bid to $1.05 per share from $1 for rival Billabong (ASX:BBG)
The move came 30 minutes before the meeting where shareholders will vote on the takeover.
Billabong International (ASX:BBG) closed 14 per cent higher (ASX:BBG) at $1.04
Headlines from today:
Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO) is set to sell its last coal mine. This is its third asset sale in just over a week.
The mining giant will sell its stake in Kestrel underground mine in Queensland to a consortium - including private equity manager EMR Capital and Indonesian company Adaro Energy for $2.9 billion.
Last week the company sold Hail Creek Mine and two coal development projects in Queensland. The total funds raised amounts to over $5 billion.
Murray Goulburn (ASX:MGC) has announced that the ACCC has delayed its final decision regarding the sale of the dairy company to Saputo. The final decision will be Wednesday the 4th of April. The ACCC are concerned the deal would have a negative effect on competition for farmers milk in Western Victoria.
Medical cannabis company, AusCann (ASX:AC8) has announced its Chilean partner Fundacion Daya has established a scheme which enables immediate access for Chilean patients to medicinal cannabis. A similar access scheme is used in Australia, prescriptions are approved on a case by case basis.
Best and worst performers of the day
The best performing sector was utilities adding 1.4 per cent to close at 7546.
The worst performing sector was materials, shedding 1.2 per cent to close at 11,120. points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Graincorp (ASX:GNC), rising 3 per cent to close at $8.51. Shares in Ausdrill (ASX:ASL) and Iron Mountain Incorporated (ASX:INM) followed higher.
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR), dropping 9 per cent to close at $3.28. Shares in A2 Milk (ASX:A2M) and Oro-cobre (ASX:ORE) followed lower.
Japan’s Nikkei has lost 2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 1.5 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost around 1 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,344 an ounce.
Light crude lost $1.22 at $US64.66 per barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 76.90 US cents.
To some of the most traded cryptocurrencies which are trading lower: Bitcoin has fallen 6.2 per cent to US$7890, Ethereum fell about 3 per cent to US$450 and Bitcoin cash dropped around 1 per cent to $US884