An early selloff extended the local market’s losses and despite some late buying the bourse finished 0.7 per cent lower.
A further worsening of unemployment fuelled further pessimism with the ABS reporting unemployment grew to 6.2 per cent in April.
Energy stocks and the miners were lower. Meanwhile CBA crept back into the black in late trade sparking signs of a recovery but pundits are warning the banks may still have further to fall.
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 47 points down to finish at 5,646.
The value of trades was $7.1 billion on volume of 900 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA)
, ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ)
and Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC)
On the futures marketthe SPI is 45 points down.
Shares in Scentre Group Limited (ASX:SCG)
fell today despite posting sales growth and confirmed its annual funds from operations guidance. The shopping centre operator reports comparable specialty store sales in Australia rose 5.8 per cent in the first quarter and are 4 per cent higher over the year to the end of March. Scentre closed 1.86 per cent down at $3.69.
AMP Limited (ASX:AMP)
has reported lower quarterly cashflows due to an increase in net cash outflows from external platforms. The wealth manager reports its Australian wealth management’s net cashflows declined 6 per cent to $342 million in the first quarter of this year. Shares in AMP closed 0.94 per cent down at $6.33.
Caltex Australia Limited (ASX:CTX)
has increased its first quarter profit and affirmed its priority remains pursuing growth opportunities and optimising its value chain.
National Australia Bank Limited (ASX:NAB)
has lifted its interim profit and revealed a $5.5 billion capital raising to facilitate its exit from the UK banking business.
Newzulu Limited (ASX:NWZ)
will partner with Tribune Publishing to utilise its syndication and sale networks to distribute Newzulu content.
Bank of Queensland Limited (ASX:BOQ)
will follow the big four banks in cutting its mortgage rates, its variable home loan rate will drop by 0.2 per cent.
Best and worst performers
All major sectors made losses today, the sector with the least losses was healthcare dropping 0.2 per cent to close at 18,409. The worst performing sector was utilities, losing 2.2 per cent to close at 6,461 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 wasCover-More Group Limited (ASX:CVO)
, rising 6.1 per cent to close at $2.26.Shares in Sirius Resources (ASX:SIR)
and UGL Limited (ASX:UGL)
also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Karoon Gas Australia Limited (ASX:KAR)
, dropping 5.3 per cent to close at $2.68. Shares in AWE Limited (ASX:AWE)
and M2 Group Limited (ASX:MTU)
also closed lower.
Gold is trading at $US1,189 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.53 up at $US60.93 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7989