After opening lower and losing ground over the first 2 hours of trade, the ASX200 index made a valiant attempt at a comeback in the second half of the session. It left its run a little late, missing the mark and closing 1.3 per cent lower. Most sectors were in the red today with the Healthcare, Consumer Discretionary and Infotech sectors advancing and helping to stem the flow of losses across the index. As we gear up for the last trading session of the year tomorrow, we reflect on a year that has seen record share market highs amidst growing global economic uncertainty, and three separate cuts to the official cash rate which dragged Australian interest rates to historic lows.
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 17 points lower to finish at 6,805.
Dow futures are suggesting a lift of 40 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 6 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a gain of 24 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 8 point fall tomorrow morning.
The Bank of Queensland (ASX:BOQ) has successful completed a share purchase plan, raising approximately $89.7 million.
Worley (ASX:WOR) has won a consultation services contract for the first Egyptian nuclear power plant.
Catalogue distribution company, Salmat (ASX:SLM) has entered into an agreement to sell its MicroSourcing business for approximately $100 million to Probe BPO Holdings.
Retirement village owner and operator, Metlifecare (ASX:MEQ, NZX:MET) has penned a scheme of arrangement under which Asia Pacific Village Group will purchase all of its shares for $7.00 per share.
Best and worst performers of the day
The best performing sector was Healthcare adding 0.5 per cent while the worst performing sector was Real Estate Investment Trusts. REITs shed 1.3 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) rising 9.4 per cent to 29 cents, followed by shares in NRW Holdings (ASX:NWH) and Pro Medicus (ASX:PME).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Sydney Airport (ASX:SYD), dropping 4.3 per cent to $8.79, followed by shares in Vicinity Centres (ASX:VCX) and Charter Hall Retail REIT (ASX:CQR).
Mixed: Japan’s Nikkei is trading 0.7 per cent lower, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has gained 0.5 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has added 1 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,515 an ounce.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a lift of 0.3 per cent.
Light crude is up at US$61.72 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 69.92 US cents.