Market Wrap: Aus shares close 0.58% lower

Market Reports

Following mixed leads from Wall Street, the Australian share market had a flat open, but lost momentum in afternoon trade closing 0.58% per cent lower. 
 
Energy stocks were the day’s worst performers after oil prices slid to a 6 and a half year low overnight. No relief for the materials space either, gold plays were hit the hardest following fresh discussion that the Fed would hike rates as early as next month and then once again in December. The big four banks also weighed heavily on the index.  

Local market performance
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed down 31 points to finish at 5,357. Over the week the index lost 118 points. 
 
The value of trades was $4.5 billion and the volume was 742 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ), Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC) and Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX:TLS).
 
On the futures market the SPI is down 36 points.

US markets
 
US major indexes have shown mixed results over the four trading days this week: The Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 0.2 per cent. The S&P 500 Index gained 0.3 per cent. The NASDAQ and the 100 Index have both lost 0.2 per cent. 
 
Economic news

RBA assistant governor Christopher Kent says Australia’s unemployment level has peaked and is unlikely to pass July’s reading of 6.3 per cent. Mr Kent also stated that the RBA is “keeping an open mind” on interest rates, but acknowledged that Australia’s economy is still only growing at a moderate pace. 

Company news
 
James Hardie Industries (ASX:JHX) has shown a 27 per cent increase in adjusted net operating profit to $US63.5 million in the three months to the end of June. The building materials company says all its businesses delivered higher volumes and earnings than the previous period with major strength coming from US and Europe fibre cement. Shares in James Hardie Industries (ASX:JHX) closed flat at $17.95. 
 
Ozforex Group Limited (ASX:OFX) has formed a strategic partnership with NZ cloud based accounting company Xero to streamline international payments for its customers.The foreign exchange services company says the platform goes live today and registered Xero customers will be able to make direct invoice payments.Shares in Ozforex Group Limited (ASX:OFX) gained 6.2 per cent at $2.74. 
 
Automotive Holdings (ASX:AHG) has posted a 21 per cent lift in net profit to $88.1 million in the year to June 30. Revenue also increased almost 11 per cent to $5.25 billion. 
 
Atlas Iron Limited (ASX:AGO) has reported a $1.4 billion full year loss as it continues to grapple with plummeting iron ore prices. The embattled iron ore miner says its statutory net loss came amid record exports of 12.2 million tonnes for the year. 
 
Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was the consumer discretionary space adding 0.65 per cent to close at 1,877. The worst performing sector was energy, losing 3.7 per cent to close at 9,772 points.
 
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Tabcorp Holdings (ASX:TAH), rising 6.68 per cent to close at $4.95. Shares in OzForex (ASX:OFX) and Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) also closed higher.
 
The worst performing stock was Santos (ASX:STO), dropping 8.97 per cent to close at $5.99. Shares in Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR) and Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) also closed lower. 

IPOs
 
Turning to IPOs and National Veterinary Care Limited (ASX:NVL) started trading today. The veterinary services company floated with an issue price of $1.00, opened at $1.26 and closed at $1.21.    
 
Contango Income Generator Limited (ASX:CIE) also started trading today. The company floated with an issue price of $1.00, opened at $1.015 and closed at $1.02.  
 
Commodities and currency

The price of gold is trading at $US1,115 an ounce, and is up $25.95 over the week.
Light crude is $1.03 lower at $US42.98 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying 73.78 US cents and only made a slight gain over the week.