After a drop in early trade the Australian share market managed to maintain momentum and closed 0.1 per cent higher. Southern Cross Media (ASX:SXL) shares have fallen sharply on the back of the company’s latest trading update. Their first quarter revenues were 8.5 per cent lower than the year earlier period. Shares in Nine Entertainment (ASX:NEC) also dropped today. Nearmap (ASX:NEA) and Jumbo Interactive (ASX:JIN) shares are up over 4 per cent today. As for the sectors, the best performing sector was Healthcare while the worst performing sector was Materials.
The S&P/ASX200 index
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 9 points higher to finish at 6,652.
Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 56 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 8 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a lift of 21 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 9 point rise tomorrow morning.
Nick Scali (ASX:NCK) shares took a dip today after they released a trading update showing that difficult trading conditions have continued for the first three months into the current financial year. Monthly store traffic has been down 10–15 per cent in this period and has had a significant impact on like-for-like store sales, which are currently down 8 per cent year to date compared with the previous year. The Company believes this is linked to lower general retail demand associated with the recent slowing in housing sales and renovations and a cautious consumer attitude. Shares in Nick Scali (ASX:NCK) closed 13.8 per cent lower at $6.21.
As mentioned earlier Southern Cross Media (ASX:SXL) shares have fallen sharply on the back of the company’s latest trading update. Declines are in both audio and television segments. First quarter operating costs were $1 million below the prior comparable period. This includes one-off restructuring costs of $1.5 million related to the outsourcing of transmission services.
Nine Entertainment (ASX:NEC) now holds a stake of 98.64 per cent in Macquarie Media following the closure of its offer period at 7.00pm yesterday. In August Nine put forward a $113.9 million bid for the 45.5 per cent of the Aussie media group not under its control.
IMF Bentham (ASX:IMF) will finance its proposed $141 million acquisition of European litigation funder Omni Bridgeway via a capital raising. The litigation funder is seeking $139 million in fresh funds.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Healthcare adding 1.4 per cent while the worst performing sector was Materials shedding 1 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Nearmap (ASX:NEA), rising 5.9 per cent to close at $2.68. Shares in Cooper Energy (ASX:COE) and Jumbo Interactive (ASX:JIN) followed higher.
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Southern Cross (ASX:SXL), dropping 18.6 per cent to close at $0.94. Shares in Nine Entertainment Co Holdings (ASX:NEC) and Harvey Norman Holdings (ASX:HVN) followed lower.
Mixed: Japan’s Nikkei has added 1.8 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.1 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.6 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,493 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 2.4 per cent to US$91.49
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 1.9 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.12 lower at US$53.53 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 67.74 US cents.