Market Wrap: Aus shares close 0.69% lower

Market Reports

It hasn’t been a good end to the month of November for the local share market; it closed the first trading day of the week in negative territory, finishing 0.69 per cent lower. It really was a tale of two stocks today; those being Dick Smith and Slater and Gordon. Electronics retailer Dick Smith saw its shares more than halve in value after the company announced that its inventories were far too high for comfort. On the other hand, embattled law firm Slater and Gordon managed to claw back some of last week’s vicious losses, after the company announced that changes had been made to compensation laws in the UK. 
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 36 points lower to finish at 5,167. 
 
The value of trades was $7 billion on volume of 1.28 billion shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Oil Search (ASX:OSH), Duet Group (ASX:DUE) and BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP)
 
On the futures market the SPI is 27 points lower.
 
Economic news

According to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, private sector credit remains in expansionary territory growing 0.7 per cent in October. This beat economist’s expectations of a 0.6 per cent rise. Also out today was data on inflation, which still remains below the Reserve Bank of Australia’s target band of 2 to 3 per cent, that’s according to the latest data from TD Securities and Melbourne Institute. Inflation rose by just 0.1 per cent for November, after remaining flat in October. In the year to November inflation increased by 1.8 per cent.
 
Company news

Mincor Resources NL (ASX:MCR) has announced that the company’s long serving Managing Director, Mr David Moore will step down and move to a non-executive role from early next year. The nickel miner’s current Chief Operating Officer, Mr Peter Muccilli will be appointed as Chief Executive Officer from the start of February. Shares in Mincor Resources closed 2 per cent lower at 24 cents. 
 
BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) says that the Brazilian Federal Government along with certain state governments will today begin legal proceedings against Samarco, Vale and BHP for around $5.2 billion in clean-up costs and damages. 
 
Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX:NCM) has signed an $11 million farm-in agreement with Oro Verde to fund and explore the Topacio Gold Project in Nicaragua. 
 
Metcash Limited (ASX:MTS) says underlying net profit is 6.1 per cent lower to $86.9 million in the six months to October.
 
Bellamy’s Australia Limited (ASX:BAL) say they have entered a strategic manufacturing agreement with Fonterra. 
 
Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Healthcare adding 0.5 per cent to close at 19,723. The worst performing sector was Materials, losing 2.4 per cent to close at 6,946 points.
 
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Slater and Gordon, rising 34.06 per cent to close at 93 cents. Shares in Metcash and Arrium also closed higher.
 
The worst performing stock was Dick Smith, dropping 57.58 per cent to close at 28 cents. Shares in ALS and Evolution Mining also closed lower. 
 
Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,057 an ounce.
Light crude is $1.33 lower at $US41.71 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying 71.91 US cents. 

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