Not enough steam: Aus shares close 0.2% lower

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market recouped some of its earlier losses and finished 0.16 per cent lower with Property and Financials gaining 0.4 per cent, and Staples and Materials followed higher, with gold players rising on the back of the gold price trading near four-month highs

But that wasn’t enough to get the top 200 index out of red, with the Energy sector’s 2.7 per cent loss holding us back.

Healthcare., Utilities and the IT sector followed lower, losing about 1 per cent each.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 9 points lower, or 0.2 per cent lower to finish at 5,580. That leaves the XJO 12 per cent away from our 10-year highs that the market hit in August.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 133 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 16 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing lift of 37 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 10 point rise tomorrow morning

Company news

Qantas (ASX:QAN) saw strong rally today. However, on the news front the flying Kangaroo hasn’t had any announcement of late, but recently a fund manager sold down their major holding in the company. Meantime, Foreign parties currently hold about 41 per cent of Qantas shares. Shares in Qantas (ASX:QAN) closed 5.1 per cent higher at $5.80. Year-on-year its shares are up about 12 per cent.

Inghams Group (ASX:ING) advised Joel Thickins will retire from the board at the end of this calendar year, keeping with TPG’s reduced holdings in the poultry business. Ricky Lau, TPG’s other representative on the board, will remain. Other board changes will be made early next year. Year-on-year its shares are up about 23 per cent.

Bega Cheese (ASX:BGA), shares fell 12 per cent to $4.98, after the company announced the drought and increased farming costs will result in milk supply dropping over 5 per cent.

NAB (ASX:NAB) held its AGM today and its shares rose 0.8 per cent. Year-on-year its shares have fallen 22 per cent. The bank’s Chairman admitted the board has got it wrong with its executive remuneration and he acknowledged that many shareholders are expected to register a ‘no’ vote on the remuneration report.

IPOs

Listed investment trust, Ophir High Conviction Fund (ASX:OPH) started trading on the ASX today. The issue price was $2.15, it opened at $2.22 and it's trading at $2.20.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Real Estate Investment Trusts adding 0.4 per cent. The worst performing sector was Energy shedding 2.7 per cent after the oil price fell to a 15-month low overnight, extending its losses from the prior session, on the back of slowing global growth weakening oil demand.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Regis Resources (ASX:RRL), rising 5.9 per cent to close at $4.66. Shares in St Barbara (ASX:SBM) and Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Bega Cheese Limited (ASX:BGA), dropping 12.3 per cent to close at $4.98 Shares in Mayne Pharma Group Limited (ASX:MYX) and Syrah Resources Limited (ASX:SYR) followed lower.

Asian markets

Mixed: Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.7 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.1 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.3 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,251 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 2 per cent to US$69.03 and its futures are pointing to a rise of 0.1 per cent.
Light crude is $3.96 lower at $US46.24 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.92 US cents.