The $5.9B float of Medibank Private has hit the trading desk creating plenty of market chatter but failing to stem the morning losses of the Australian sharemarket. The ASX ended 0.5 per cent lower in afternoon trade after being nearly one per cent weaker at midday.
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 27 points down to finish at 5,335.
The value of trades was $5.6 billion on volume of 985 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were not surprisingly, the newly listed Medibank Private (ASX:MPL)
, BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP)
and Woolworths Limited (ASX:WOW)
On the futures market the SPI is 1 point lower.
Analysts are looking ahead to a lift in retail spending come Christmas after the ANZ Roy Morgan weekly survey of consumer confidence rose 1.3 points per cent to 114.3 for the week taking the index just above the long run average of 113.2 over the past 14 years.
Brickworks Limited (ASX:BKW)
says strong momentum in the building products group has lifted revenue by 14 per cent for the first quarter of the 2015 financial year. Earnings for the quarter were $13.2 million, a 38 per cent improvement on the same period last year. The outlook is for further strong results with building products poised to deliver its best first half result since 2008. Share in Brickworks closed 0.3 per cent down at $13.10.
TechnologyOne Limited (ASX:TNE)
has posted a 15 per cent jump in net profit before tax. Record licence fees helped take revenue to $40.2 million in the upper end of guidance growth of 10 – 15 per cent. Strong customer retention and new product releases drove an 11 per cent increase in licence fees with the company posting its eleventh consecutive year of record revenue. Executive Chairman Adrian Di Marco says the company remains well positioned for continued strong growth. Shares in TechnologyOne Limited (ASX:TNE)
slipped 3.37 per cent to $3.15.
Auckland International Airport Limited (ASX:AIA)
says New Zealand has a new agreement with China that allows the doubling of the maximum number of flights between the two countries from 21 to 42 per week, per country.
OzForex Group Limited (ASX:OFX)
has boosted interim net profit by 26 per cent to $12 million on the back of strong activity client and transaction growth.
Aristocrat Leisure Limited (ASX:ALL)
has reported a full year net loss of $16 million but says fiscal 2015 will be transformative as it integrates its recent $1.3 billion acquisition of Video Gaming Technologies.
And Austbrokers Holdings Limited (ASX:AUB)
has entered into a deal with an 80 per cent owned subsidiary, NZ Brokers Holdings, to acquire two businesses in New Zealand.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was consumer discretionary adding 0.04 per cent to close at 1,808. The worst performing sector was materials, losing 1.7per cent to close at 8,909 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was OzForex Group, rising 8.85 per cent to close at $2.46. Shares in Newcrest Mining and Tabcorp Holdings also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Monadelphous, dropping 9.25 per cent to close at $9.61. Shares in Beadell Resources and Beach Energy also closed lower.
The widely anticipated Medibank Private float started trading today. The private health insurer listed with an issue price of $2.00, opened at $2.22 and a closed at $2.14.
Gold is trading at $US1,197 an ounce. Light crude is $0.73 down at $US75.78 a barrel. The Australian dollar is buying 85.94 US cents.