Despite a positive start to the day, the Australian share market retreated in early afternoon trade after China’s trade figures disappointed the market.
Today, the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 20 points down to finish at 4,098. On the futures market, the SPI is currently 25 points lower.
National Australia Bank Limited (ASX:NAB) Monthly Business Survey for June, has dropped 1 point to negative three points.
Following due diligence, Pipeline Partners Australia Pty Ltd has provided Hastings Diversified Utilities Fund (ASX:HDF) with a binding proposal. The offer includes $2.325 per share in cash and is subject to conditions. The bid challenges APA Group (ASX:APA) which made a play for Hastings last year and is awaiting an ACCC approval for its offer. Shares in Hastings closed steady at $2.38.
Resolute Mining Limited (ASX:RSG) is expecting gold production to rise by 4 per cent in fiscal 2013 from the current financial year. The Australia and Africa-focussed gold producer expects to deliver 415,000 ounces of gold next year, with forecast group cash costs of $830 per ounce. Shares in Resolute closed 2.24 per cent down at $1.31.
BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP) has been named as Australia’s largest company in Fortune Magazine's Global 500 list of the world’s largest companies, placing the global miner at 108 on the list.
Insurance Australia Group Limited (ASX:IAG) has outlined its aggressive expansion strategy into Asia, which expects to have $720 million invested in five Asian countries this year.
Gunns Limited (ASX:GNS) says it will dispute two amended income tax assessments from the Australian Taxation Office which relate to a sale and leaseback transaction it entered into in 2007, for the purpose of raising funds.
Automotive retailer AP Eagers Limited (ASX:APE) has bought a 16.33 per cent stake in listed automotive retailing and logistics group, Automotive Holdings Group Limited (ASX:AHE).
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Real Estate Investment Trusts adding 8 points to close at 883.
The worst performing sector was Materials, losing 100 points to close at 9,349 points.
The best performing stock in the S&PASX 200 was Energy World Corporation Limited (ASX:EWC) rising 8.33 per cent to close at $0.39. Shares in Sundance Resources and Iluka Resources also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Aquarius Platinum Limited (ASX:AQP) dropping 11.76 per cent to close at $0.60. Shares in Aquila Resources and CSR also closed lower.
Gold is trading at $US1,586 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.97 down at $US85.02 a barrel.
The Australian dollar
The Australian dollar is buying $US1.017.