Following yesterday’s buoyant gains the Australian share market today headed south and shed 1.3 per cent by close. Traders were in a selling mood after the US Federal Reserve suggested interest rates will rise this year. All local sectors ended in the red with the Big Four Banks each falling more than 1 per cent by close.
The S&P/ASX 200 index dropped 70.5 points to close at 5,525.
The value of trades was $8.6 billion on volume of 1.21 billion shares at the close of trade.
The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA)
, Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC)
and Woolworths Limited (ASX:WOW)
On the futures market the SPI is 7 points lower.
Qantas Airways Limited (ASX:QAN)
has announced plans for its budget airline Jetstar to start flying to regional destinations in New Zealand from December this year. Australia’s largest airline says the move will bring much-needed competition and more affordable fares to travellers outside the country’s main centres. Shares in Qantas Airways fell 2.79 per cent to close at $3.14.
Shares in Cash Converters International Limited (ASX:CCV)
rose after agreeing to pay up to $23 million to settle a class action. The class action is made up of borrowers in New South Wales who took loans from the company’s subsidiaries and franchisees from 2010 to 2013. Shares in Cash Converters rose 10.29 per cent to close at $0.75.
IT services firm Empired Limited (ASX:EPD)
has won $10 million worth of managed services contracts with a global oil and gas company just days after scoring a $15 million contract from InterOil.
Operator of childcare facilities Think Childcare and Education Limited (ASX:TNK)
has contracted the purchase of two childcare centres and reached essential terms on a further two centres.
Mark Bouris’ TZ Limited (ASX:TZL)
has adjusted its revenue guidance for the full 2015 financial year and spruiked an extremely strong outlook for FY16 and beyond.
Erin Resources Limited (ASX:ERI)
has announced its takeover target has inked a $60 million cannabinoids offtake agreement.
Best and worst performers
The sector with the fewest falls was energy, easing 0.3 per cent to close at 11,374.
The worst performing sector was consumer staples, losing 1.9 per cent to close at 8,479 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Syrah Resources Limited (ASX:SYR)
, rising 10.22 per cent to close at $4.10. Shares in Northern Star Resources Limited (ASX:NST)
and Monadelphous Group Limited (ASX:MND)
also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Ten Network Holdings Limited (ASX:TEN)
, dropping 12.77 per cent to close at $0.21. Shares in Cabcharge Australia Limited (ASX:CAB)
and Bradken Limited (ASX:BKN)
also closed lower.
Gold is buying $US1,188 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.12 lower at $US60.33 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7739.