The local share market has started the week on a sour note, marking six straight sessions in the red and closing 1.41 per cent lower. Investors seemed unimpressed with soft manufacturing data out of China this afternoon and are also awaiting a decision from the RBA tomorrow on whether or not to keep interest rates on hold. A public holiday tomorrow in Victoria for the Melbourne Cup has also been a main factor affecting volumes today.
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 74 points lower to finish at 5,166.
The value of trades was $4.7 billion on volume of 639 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 Woolworths Limited (ASX:WOW)
On the futures market the SPI is down 104 points.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released data on building approvals for the month of September. According to the ABS, building approvals jumped 2.2 per cent in September, compared to a slump of 9.5 per cent last month. Over the year approvals soared 21.4 per cent.
Invion Limited (ASX:IVX)
has advised the market of completion of enrolment in its phase 2 clinical trial of INV102 in patients with mild asthma. The trial involves 66 participants and has been funded by the US National Institutes of Health. The last dose will be administered by the end of April 2016. Shares in Invion closed up 9.09 per cent to 1.2 cents.
Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC)
has posted a full year net profit of $7.82 billion up 3 per cent on last year.
REA Group Limited (ASX:REA)
has announced it will acquire iProperty in an all cash offer of $4.00 per share.
Diploma Group (ASX:DGX)
says it has received approval for two new projects in Perth valued at $51 million.
Xero Limited (ASX:XRO, NZX:XRO) says it has appointed Tony Stewart to the newly created executive role of Chief Data Officer.
Best and worst performers
The best of a bad bunch was Utilities losing 0.4 per cent to close at 6,909. The worst performing sector was Financials excluding REITs, losing 2.1 per cent to close at 6,773 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Altium, rising 4.22 per cent to close at $4.69. Shares in Southern Cross and G8 Education also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was GWA Group, dropping 16.94 per cent to close at $2.06. Shares in Flexigroup and Cabcharge also closed lower.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,141 an ounce. Light crude is up 33 cents at $US46.39 a barrel. The Australian dollar is buying 71.37 US cents.