Market Wrap: ASX retreats & fails to hit 6,000

Market Reports

The Australian share market closed 0.3 per cent lower despite high hopes today would see the benchmark hit the key 6,000 level. Following positive leads from Wall Street the local bourse disappointed rising expectations and traded much of the session in the red. Most sectors fell but strength in mining and energy sectors provided support following a lift in commodity prices. 
 
Figures
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index slipped 19 points to close at 5,956. 
 
The value of trades was $3.8 billion on volume of 559 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 8 points lower.
 
Company news
 
Shares in Premier Investments Limited (ASX:PMV) jumped after lifting its interim profit and sweetening its payout to shareholders. Solomon Lew's clothing group improved its net profit by 9 per cent and declared a fully franked interim dividend of 21 cents in addition to a special dividend of 9 cents per share. Shares in Premier Investments jumped 11.07 per cent to close at $12.54. 
 
Shares in Ten Network Holdings (ASX:TEN) rose after addressing ongoing takeover speculation. The media company has confirmed it continues to consider a number of proposals and talks are also continuing. Shares in Ten Network Holdings rose 4.55 per cent to close at $0.23.
 
Shares in RCG Corporation Limited (ASX:RCG) soared after the investment holding company completed a fully underwritten placement to raise $25 million. 
 
Shares in Auckland International Airport Limited (ASX:AIA) rose after reporting stronger international passenger numbers last month, aided by Chinese visitor arrivals.
 
Shares in Village Roadshow Limited (ASX:VRL) firmed after the theme park operator established a funds management business with Chinese state-owned CITIC Trust Co. Ltd.
 
Shares in Intrepid Mines Limited (ASX:IAU) closed steady after revealing CEO Mark Mitchell has resigned from the company to work elsewhere and Scott Lowe will step into the top job.  
 
Best and worst performers
 
The best performing sector was materials, adding 0.7 per cent to close at 9,264.
The worst performing sector was health care, losing 0.8 per cent to close at 19,532 points.
 
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Monadelphous Group Limited (ASX:MND), rising 14.44 per cent to close at $13.00. Shares in Premier Investments Limited (ASX:PMV) and Evolution Mining Limited (ASX:EVN) also closed higher.
 
The worst performing stock was Transfield Services Limited (ASX:TSE), dropping 4.75 per cent to close at $1.41. Shares in Ozforex Group Limited (ASX:OFX) and ALS Limited (ASX:ALQ) also closed lower. 
 
Commodities
 
Gold is buying $US1,183 an ounce. 
Light crude is $0.92 higher at $US46.45 a barrel.
 
Currencies
 
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7821.