The Australian share market closed 0.3 per cent lower today, extending the weekly decline over the same period the local currency and iron ore price dropped. Across the board today gains among resources were offset by falls in the telco, financial and energy sectors.
Looking ahead the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) monthly board meeting minutes will be released on Tuesday and quarterly bulletin on Thursday. Internationally Chinese data is due for release over the weekend and next week attention will turn to Scotland’s independence vote and New Zealand election.
The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 15 points today, widening the weekly drop of 68 points to close at 5,531.
The value of trades was $4.44 billion on volume of 698 million shares at the close of trade.
The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA)
, BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP)
and ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ)
On the futures market the SPI is 12 points lower.
America’s major indexes have put in a mixed trading performance this week: The Dow Jones Industrial Average has slipped 0.1 per cent. The S&P 500 Index has dipped 0.01 per cent. The NASDAQ has lifted 0.6 per cent. The 100 Index has gained 0.7 per cent.
Ahead of next week’s Scottish independence vote National Australia Bank Limited (ASX:NAB)
has laid out its contingency plan. Should Scotland vote for independence from the United Kingdom the bank would seek to register its Glasgow-based subsidiary Clydesdale Bank as an English company. NAB says the move would address some of the uncertainties and risks surrounding terms of separation if Scotland were to become an independent country. Shares in National Australia Bank fell 0.49 per cent today to end the week at $34.25.
Shares in Myer Holdings Limited (ASX:MYR)
closed as the worst performer on the benchmark index for the second straight day. The department store retailer reported a 23 per cent annual net profit drop yesterday, representing its fourth year of declining profits. Shares in Myer have now shed almost 17 per cent over this week after sinking 6.05 per cent today to close at $2.02.
Shares in Singapore Telecommunications Limited (ASX:SGT)
closed higher after revealed a senior executive shake-up. Optus’ current Group Digital Life boss Allen Lew has been appointed Optus’ new CEO and Paul O’Sullivan will step in the Chairman’s role at Optus from October.
Shares in Silver Lake Resources Limited (ASX:SLR)
closed stronger after announcing the retirement of its founding Managing Director, Les Davis. The gold producer’s current Executive Director – Operations Luke Tonkin will take the reins from November.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was materials, adding 0.6 per cent to close at 9,783.
The worst performing sector was telco services, losing 0.9 per cent to close at 1,939 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Bradken Limited (ASX:BKN)
, rising 4.72 per cent to close at $4.66. Shares in BlueScope Steel Limited (ASX:BSL)
and Evolution Mining Limited (ASX:EVN)
also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Myer Holdings Limited (ASX:MYR)
, dropping 6.05 per cent to close at $2.02. Shares in M2 Group Limited (ASX:MTU)
and Buru Energy Limited (ASX:BRU)
also closed lower.
The price of gold is trading at $US1,238 an ounce, down $US27.01 over the week.
Light crude is $1.16 higher at $US92.83 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.9071, down $US0.0274 over the week.