Market Wrap: Aus shares close 2.4% lower

Market Reports

Following negative leads from the US, the Australian share market opened sharply lower and continued to fall throughout the day, closing 2.41 per cent lower.  
 
Banks suffered sharp losses following news of ANZ’s $3 billion capital raising. It’s been a negative week for the ASX as reporting season gets underway with the banks a big drag on the local bourse. 
 
Today, the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 135 points down to finish at 5475. 
Over the week the index lost 224 points. 
 
The value of trades was $5.9 billion on volume of 710 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) and Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC).
 
On the futures market the SPI is 123 points down.
 
Looking at Wall Street, US major indexes have fell over the four trading days this week: The Dow Jones Industrial Average has lost 1.6 per cent. The S&P 500 Index has lost 1 per cent. The NASDAQ has lost 1.4 per cent. The 100 Index has lost 1.3 per cent. 
 
Company News
 
Virgin Australia Holdings (ASX:VAH) widened losses on its international operations and says it plans to withdraw from a number of routes following a full year loss of $49 million. Virgin’s international business widened its full year loss and will replace some routes to Bali and Thailand with Tiger Air services, but ramp up its New Zealand flights. Shares in Virgin fell 1.14 per cent to $0.43 
 
Explosives maker Orica Limited (ASX:ORI) says it will take a $1.65 billion write-down because of the continued downturn in the mining industry and a glut in the ammonium nitrate market. The company is also reviewing its on-market share buyback announced in March. Shares in Orica were fell sharply closing 16.94 per cent lower at $15.64 
 
Hills Limited (ASX:HIL) re-affirmed full year guidance and says it will take an impairment charge of $94 million on its full year results. 
 
And Finbar Group Limited (ASX:FRI) says it has received development approval for an apartment project in West Perth. 
 
Best and worst performers

All sectors were down today. The best performing sector was Utilities losing 0.6 per cent to close at 6,642. The worst performing sector was Financials Excluding REITs, losing 3.4 per cent to close at 7281 points.
 
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd (ASX:LNG), rising 14.80 per cent to close at $2.87. Shares in Myer Holdings Ltd(ASX:MYR) and Slater & Gordon Limited(ASX:SGH) also closed higher.
 
The worst performing stock was Orica Ltd(ASX:ORI), dropping 16.94 per cent to close at $15.64. Shares in ANZ Banking Group(ASX:ANZ)  and Incitec Pivot Ltd(ASX:IPL) also closed lower. 
 
Commodities

The price of gold is trading at $US1,089 an ounce, and is up $4.52 over the week. Light crude is $0.31 lower at $US44.84 a barrel. The Australian dollar is buying $0.737 and is 0.68 cents up over the week.

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