Market Wrap: ASX posts massive 2.75% weekly loss

Market Reports

The Australian share market spent the session in the red, extending a massive 2.75 per cent decline over the week. The largest weekly decline since last year came over the same week Wall Street edged to new highs but the local market was hit by falling commodity prices. Most sectors ended today’s session in the red, weighed down by losses among utilities. The energy sector spiked almost 2 per cent after the price of oil lifted overnight from depressed levels. 
 
Figures
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 12 points today, widening the weekly loss of 150 points to finish the week at 5,304. 
 
The value of trades was $4.25 billion on volume of 707 million shares at the close of trade. 
 
The top three stocks by value were Woolworths Limited (ASX:WOW), National Australia Bank Limited (ASX:NAB) and BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP)
 
On the futures market the SPI is 8 points lower. 
 
Wall Street
 
America’s major indexes have moved higher over the four trading days this week: The Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 0.4 per cent. The S&P 500 Index has gained 0.6 per cent. The NASDAQ has gained 0.7 per cent. The 100 Index has gained 0.7 per cent. 
 
Company news 
 
Fortescue Metals Group Limited’s (ASX:FMG) founder Andrew Forrest has taken advantage of the company’s declining stock price and snapped up $11 million worth of shares. The Pilbara focussed iron ore miner’s stock has fallen more than 50 per cent this year and slumped to a five year low this week and as the iron ore price sank. Fortescue’s CEO Nev Power has also boosted his stake into the company this week through buying $275,000 worth of stock. Shares in Fortescue Metals Group rose 1.89 per cent today to end the week at $2.69. 
 
Shares in Kathmandu Holdings Limited (ASX:KMD) took a hit after warnings its first half earnings are expected to fall from the year before. The outdoor clothing retailer has reported a rise in earnings in the year to date following a better than expected post winter period. However this will be offset by the impact on gross margins from the campaign’s pricing, which focused on moving excess winter season stock out of the business. Shares in Kathmandu Holdings fell 1.12 per cent today to end the week at $2.65. 
 
Shares in Myer Holdings Limited (ASX:MYR) ended 0.3 per cent higher after holding its annual general meeting. The department store retailer says it anticipates sales growth over the current financial year and forecast modest growth in operating gross profit margin. 
 
Shares in Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Co. Limited (ASX:SOL) ended 0.57 per cent lower after the investment company announced it has tied up the sale of two distribution centres for $153 million to Super Retail Group Limited (ASX:SUL).
 
Best and worst performers
 
The best performing sector was energy, adding 1.9 per cent to close at 12,900. 
The worst performing sector was utilities, losing 1.4 per cent to close at 5,869 points.
 
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Beach Energy Limited (ASX:BPT), rising 8.37 per cent to close at $1.10. Shares in Lynas Corporation Limited (ASX:LYC) and Horizon Oil Limited (ASX:HZN) also closed higher.
 
The worst performing stock was Cardno Limited (ASX:CDD). After adjusting its interim net profit guidance the company’s stock sank 24.95 per cent to close at $3.65. Shares in Atlas Iron Limited (ASX:AGO) and UGL Limited (ASX:UGL) also closed lower. 
 
IPOs 
 
Pacific Smiles Group Limited (ASX:PSQ) started trading today. The provider of services and facilities to dental practitioners listed with an issue price of $1.30, opened at $1.70 and closed at $1.78.    
 
Bailador Technology Investments Limited (ASX:BTI) started trading today. The investment company is focussed on the IT sector and floated with an issue price of $1.00, opened at $1.00 and closed at $0.96.    
 
Commodities
 
The price of gold is buying $US1,194 an ounce, up $8.73 over the week. 
Light crude is $1.00 higher at $US75.58 a barrel. 
 
Currencies
 
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.8645, down $0.0102 over the week.