Market Wrap: Aus shares close 0.16% lower

Market Reports

The local share market has made a lack-lustre finish to the week, losing all momentum in afternoon trade and closing the session 0.16 per cent lower. Telstra and ANZ were the biggest drag on the market, and a small lift in BHP shares wasn’t enough to lift the index out of the red. It was another horror day on the market for law firm Slater and Gordon, with investors cutting their losses in droves causing the stock to plummet almost 25 per cent. 
 
Today, the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 8 points lower to finish at 5,203. 
Over the week the index lost 54 points. 
 
The value of trades was $5.1 billion on volume of 835 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP) and ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ)
 
On the futures market the SPI is 13 points lower.
 
Looking at Wall Street, US major indexes remained flat over the three trading days this week: The Dow Jones Industrial Average has lost 0.06 per cent. The S&P 500 Index has lost 0.01 per cent. The NASDAQ has gained 0.2 per cent. The 100 Index has lost 0.3 per cent. 

Company news

Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RIO) will expand output from one of the world’s premier bauxite deposits following approval of the $1.9 billion Amrun Project. Amrun involves the construction of a bauxite mine and associated processing and port facilities on the Cape York Peninsula in north Queensland. Production and shipping are expected to commence in the first half of 2019. Shares in Rio Tinto closed 0.56 per cent lower at $46.23.
 
Scentre Group (ASX:SCG) has announced the sale of three shopping centres in New Zealand with combined gross proceeds of NZ$549 million. The sale of the three centres has been transacted at a yield of 8.2 per cent. Shares in Scentre Group closed 1 per cent higher at $4.06.
 
Qantas Airways (ASX:QAN) says passenger demand in October was up by 4.8 per cent leading to a 1.3 per cent rise in revenue compared to October last year. 
 
Diploma Group Limited (ASX:DGX) says it has won a $52 million contract to design and construct the Riverwood Apartments in Perth. 
 
Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Energy adding 1.1 per cent to close at 8,684. The worst performing sector was Utilities, losing 1.8 per cent to close at 6,860 points.
 
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Mesoblast, rising 15.48 per cent to close at $1.79. Shares in Retail Food Group and Mantra Group also closed higher.
 
The worst performing stock was Slater and Gordon, dropping 26.6 per cent to close at 69 cents. Shares in Spark Infrastructure and Genworth also closed lower. 
 
Commodities and the dollar

The price of gold is trading at $US1,068 an ounce, and is $15.45 lower over the week.
Light crude is down 53 cents at $US42.51 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying 72.32 US cents and gained 0.4 cents over the week.