Market Wrap: Banks lead ASX slide

Market Reports

The local market headed south this afternoon and led by the banks we finished down 1.2 per cent. 
 
Commonwealth Bank is down more than 5 per cent, with it trading ex-dividend and ANZ lost close to two per cent. The selloff today pushed along by Fitch Ratings suggesting the banks may need to take on even greater capital reserves. 
 
The RBA released minutes today from its last monetary policy meeting suggesting a softening Aussie dollar is helping stimulate export production. While it was also stressed that new data coming to hand would drive rate moves.
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 65 points down to finish at 5,303. 
 
The value of trades was $6.8 billion on volume of 921 million 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 BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP).
 
On the futures market the SPI is 44 points down.
 
Company news
 
Sydney Airports (ASX:SYD) dipped into the red as it recorded a net profit of $134.6 million for the first half of 2015, a 150 per cent increase on last year’s figures. Sydney Airports closed 1.23 per cent down at $5.63. 
 
Dick Smith Holdings Limited (ASX:DSH) shares have shed some 16 per cent as it reports a 3.1 per cent increase in net profit to $43.3 million in the full year to 30 June. The electronics retailer’s total sales were up 7.5 per cent to $1.32 billion but it didn’t seem to impress investors today. Shares in Dick Smith closed 16.5 per cent down at $1.67
 
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX:ANZ) says it lifted its unaudited cash profit by 4 per cent to $5.4 billion in the 9 months to 30 June 2015.
 
QBE Insurance Group (ASX:QBE) has recorded a net profit of $455 million in the first half of 2015. 
 
Shares in GPT Group (ASX:GPT) dipped despite a solid first half profit figure which was up by 75 per cent to almost $422 million.
 
Shares in Cardno Limited (ASX:CDD) have dipped as it reports a full year loss of $145 million, a reversal from last year’s $78 million profit. 
 
Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was telco services adding 0.4 per cent to close at 2,168. The worst performing sector was financials excluding REITs, losing 2.2 per cent to close at 7,026 points.
 
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX:FMG), rising 7.88 per cent to close at $1.99. Shares in Asciano Limited (ASX:AIO) and Sirtex Medical Limited (ASX:SRX) also closed higher.
 
The worst performing stock was Dick Smith Holdings Limited (ASX:DSH), as mentioned previously. Shares in MMA Offshore Limited (ASX:MRM) and Senex Energy Limited (ASX:SXY) also closed lower. 
 
Commodities

Gold is trading at $US1,119 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.70 down at $US42.41 a barrel.

The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7361

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