The Australian share market opened flat today and traded mostly in negative territory, as investors await forthcoming news on whether stimulus plans will proceed in the eurozone.
Today, the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 3 points down to finish at 4,169. On the futures market, the SPI is currently 10 points lower.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics has reported the monthly balance of goods and services has remained in deficit but came in lower than expected. May has revealed a $285 million deficit compared to $26 million in April. Analysts predicted a $500 million deficit. Economists attributed the higher dollar driving growth in domestic imports but are confident a surplus will return, as exports are expected to rise.
Virgin Australia Holdings Limited (ASX:VAH) has ordered 23 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircrafts which are reportedly valued at about $US95.2 million each. Virgin’s chief says the 737 has formed a critical part of its fleet and says the new Boeing 737 MAX should reduce fuel burn and carbon emissions by 13 per cent. The environmentally-friendly aircrafts are expected to join the fleet between 2019 and 2021. Shares in Virgin closed 4 per cent up at $0.39.
Leighton Holdings Limited (ASX:LEI) has fired a senior manager over alleged misconduct at its Iraq operations. The construction giant says, following an internal review, the company identified a failure of the subsidiary to meet governance standards for contractual arrangements. The Australian Federal Police is investigating the corruption allegations. Shares in Leighton closed 0.84 per cent up at $16.77.
Flight Centre Limited (ASX:FLT) has upgraded its full year profit guidance of between $285 and $290 million representing a 16-18 per cent rise from the same time last year.
Regis Resources Limited (ASX:RRL) says it has achieved strong drill results from its wholly owned Rosemont gold deposit in Western Australia. Second phase drilling will continue in the September quarter, with the company aiming to update the reserves and resources estimate in the December quarter.
Transport and logistics provider Toll Holdings Limited (ASX:TOL) has sold a part of its Toll Refrigerator business to Automotive Holdings Group Limited (ASX:AHE) for $6.5 million.
Atlas Iron Limited (ASX:AGO) says it does not expect to be liable to pay any mining tax, unless there is a change in the iron ore market.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Health Care adding 107 points to close at 9,207.
The worst performing sector was Utilities, losing 41 points to close at 4,829.
The best performing stock in the S&PASX 200 was Flight Centre Limited (ASX:FLT) rising 6.28 per cent to close at $20.49. Shares in Mineral Deposits and Virgin Australia also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Aquarius Platinum Limited (ASX:AQP)dropping 8.23 per cent to close at $0.72. Shares in Beadell Resources and FKP Property Group also closed lower.
Gold is trading at $US1,616 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.81 down at $US86.85 a barrel.
The Australian dollar
The Australian dollar is buying $US1.026.