The local market slumped 1.5 per cent today to end a lacklustre week that saw only one day offering any substantial gains. The Greek debt saga weighed this week with a game of brinkmanship keeping any resolution at bay and it seems both sides are playing down the clock as the deadline looms for a possible debt default by Greece at the end of the month.
This combined with the iron ore price resuming its downward spiral overnight and the miners were hit hard with BHP and Fortescue both giving up ground.
Meanwhile Woolworths pushed higher today to stand-out in a sea of red, the supermarket operator was up some 4 per cent by the close.
Today, the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 87 points down to finish at 5,546.
Over the week the index lost 51 points.
The value of trades was $7.7 billion on volume of 955 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 Woolworths Limited (ASX:WOW)
On the futures market the SPI is 68 points down.
US major indexes have dropped over the four trading days this week: The Dow Jones Industrial Average has lost 0.7 per cent. The S&P 500 Index has lost 0.4 per cent. The NASDAQ has lost 0.1 per cent. The 100 Index is flat over the week.
Shares in Bradken Limited (ASX:BKN)
slumped today on news it has been approached for a possible merger by the Magotteaux Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sigdo Koppers. Both parties have agreed to investigate the benefits of a merger over a 60 day exclusivity period before taking the idea to Bradken shareholders. Shares in Bradken closed 11.34 per cent down at $1.53
Infigen Energy Limited (ASX:IFN)
gained today announcing the sale of its US solar development pipeline to a global solar energy company. Infigen will receive $49 million for the pipeline with an $11.4 million upfront payment and the balance due by the end of November this year. Shares in Infigen closed 1.67 per cent up at $0.30
Insurance Australia Group Limited (ASX:IAG)
has appointed Elizabeth Bryan as Deputy Chairman to support recent strategic initiatives.
Shares in DGR Global Limited (ASX:DGR)
are up 15 per cent on its announcement of a maiden special dividend of 0.25 cents per share.
Best and worst performers of the day
The only sector in positive territory was consumer staples adding 0.6 per cent to close at 8,512. The worst performing sector was utilites, losing 4.1 per cent to close at 6,508 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Woolworths Limited (ASX:WOW)
, rising 3.83 per cent to close at $27.39. Shares in Flight Centre Travel Group Limited (ASX:FLT)
and Ozforex Group Limited (ASX:OFX)
also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Bradken Limited (ASX:BKN)
, dropping 11.34 per cent to close at $1.53. Shares in Pacific Brands Limited (ASX:PBG)
and Worleyparsons Limited (ASX:WOR)
also closed lower.
The price of gold is trading at $US1,174 an ounce, and is down $27.43 over the week.
Light crude is $0.57 lower at $US59.70 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $0.7717 and is $0.005 down over the week.