The Australian share market remained largely in negative territory today and closed almost 0.5 per cent down.
The major banks all made losses today, led by Westpac which traded ex dividend. This outweighed gains made by the miners on the back of improvements in commodities prices.
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 25 points down to finish at 5,524.
The value of trades was $5.07 billion on volume of 764 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC)
, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA)
and ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ)
On the futures marketthe SPI is 12 points down.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics has shown a 0.7 per cent decrease in the volume of owner occupied housing finance in September. In value terms there was a 2.3 per cent increase in total dwellings finance for the month.
Shares in Mount Gibson Iron Limited (ASX:MGX)
have jumped more than 5 per cent today despite the company revising down its full year guidance. The iron ore miner has dropped its full year sales guidance to between 6.0 and 6.4 million tonnes for the 2015 financial year in light of a delay in the restart of the Koolan Island mine in the Kimberley. Shares in Mount Gibson closed 5.68 per cent up at $0.47.
Shares in Yancoal Australia Limited (ASX:YAL)
have sunk more than 25 per cent as it aims to raise about $US2.3 billion in a subordinated capital notes offer. The raising comes amid sliding commodity prices and the company says it will be used to strengthen its balance sheet and may fund future expansion. Shares in Yancoal closed 27.27 per cent down at $0.16
Suncorp Group Limited (ASX:SUN)
has announced a reduction in total lending over the September quarter while its net interest margin increased.
Vocus Communications Limited (ASX:VOC)
is in exclusive talks with Amcom Telecommunications Limited (ASX:AMM)
about a possible takeover.
Somnomed Limited (ASX:SOM)
has reached a milestone of having fitted 200,000 patients with its medical devices since its start of operations in 2004.
Land and funds managerPeet Limited (ASX:PPC)
has completed a $40 million institutional placement to fund an interest in six development projects.
Best and worst performers of the day
The best performing sector was materials adding 0.75 per cent to close at 9,406. The worst performing sector was health care, losing 0.7 per cent to close at 16,287 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 wasResolute Mining Limited (ASX:RSG)
, rising 17.78 per cent to close at $0.27.Shares in Atlas Iron Limited (ASX:AGO)
and Paladin Energy Limited (ASX:PDN)
also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was G8 Education Limited (ASX:GEM)
, dropping 4.56 per cent to close at $4.60. Shares in Westpac Banking Corp (ASX:WBC)
and UGL Limited (ASX:UGL)
also closed lower.
Gold is trading at $US1,173 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.74 up at $US78.65 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.8673