The Australian share market recovered somewhat in late afternoon trade to end just 0.4 per cent down after trading as much as one per cent down earlier in the day.
Three of the big four banks were proving a drag on the ASX and Fortescue Metals bounced nearly five per cent on a broker upgrade.
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 20 points down to finish at 5,099.
The value of trades was $6.1 billion on volume of 944 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 BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP)
On the futures market the SPI is 24 points down.
ABS numbers show that investor lending fell 8.5 per cent in August, its biggest decline in 8 years as lending restrictions and higher costs impact on investors. Lending to first home buyers rose by 1.6 per cent in the 12 months to September.
Surfstitch Group Limited (ASX:SRF)
has reaffirmed FY2016 guidance of over 100 per cent EBIDTA growth. The online retailer says its global strategy working is however there are no plans to pay a dividend as extra cash will continue to be reinvested in the business. Shares in Surfstitch last traded 4.09 per cent up at $1.78.
Qube Holdings Limited (ASX:QUB)
has made a formal offer of $9.25 per share for Asciano Limited (ASX:AIO)
. The offer is in direct competition with the Brookfield Infrastructure bid of $9.22 per share. Qube has said it is only interested in the ports assets of the Patrick business. Shares in Qube Holdings last traded 3.54 per cent lower at $2.18.
Beadell Resources (ASX:BDR)
has announced the retirement of Managing Director Peter Bowler effective immediately. Mr Bowler will be replaced by Simon Jackson.
OzForex Group Limited (ASX:OFX)
says half year results for the six months to the end of September saw a 34 per cent increase in turnover to $10 billion.
NRW Holdings Limited (ASX:NWH)
says Samsung will pay it $30 million to settle a dispute on the Roy Hill Rail Project.
And Eclipx Group (ASX:ECX)
has announced a $50 million transaction to support the increased uptake of low emissions vehicles.
Best and worst performers of the day
The best performing sector was consumer staples adding 0.3 per cent to close at 8,212. The worst performing sector was real estate investment trusts, losing 1.5 per cent to close at 1,243 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Cabcharge adding 5.34 per cent to close at $2.76. Shares in AWE and Regis Resources also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Pacific Brands dropping 5.3 per cent to close at $0.71. Shares in CIMIC Group and Recall Holdings also closed lower.
Gold is trading at $US1,093 an ounce. Light crude is $0.42 cents down at $US43.87 a barrel. The Australian dollar is buying 70.48 US cents.