Market Wrap: Aus shares close 0.55% lower

Market Reports

After a steep sell off at the open following negative leads from offshore the Australian share close 0.55% lower. 
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 28 points lower to finish at 5,081. 
The value of trades was $5.2 billion on volume of 920 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were BHP, RIO and CBA.
On the futures market the SPI is down 36 points.
Economic news
Westpac consumer sentiment index eased 0.8 per cent this month, from 101.7 points in November to 100.8 points, seasonally adjusted. An index level above 100 points, is seen as positive with optimists outnumbering pessimists. 
Company news
Mirvac Group (ASX: MGR) and an affiliate of Blackstone, co-owners of 275 Kent Street, Sydney, announced that they have entered into an agreement to extend Westpac’s commitment as majority tenant of the tower until 2030, Westpac has secured 58,500 square metres across levels 1 to 23 of the 32 level premium grade tower for a 12-year term, commencing November 2018. Mirvac Group closed 0.26 per cent higher at $1.93. 
And now to Catapult Group International, The athletes analytics company has signed an agreement to be the provider of GPS Athlete Tracking for the AFL from 2016. Under the agreement Catapult will receive an annual subscription payment plus a share of new revenue generated from any commercial applications from wearable data.Shares in Catapult Group International closed 7.32 per cent higher at $1.76. 
Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RIO) has cut capital expenditure for the second time in four months.The miner said it expects total capex in both 2015 and 2016 will be around $5 billion, compared to previous forecasts of less than $6 billion next year.
Cardno Limited (ASX:CDD) has announced the appointment of two US-based members to its executive leadership team. The infrastructure and environmental services company said the appointments are key to the implementation of actions being undertaken following the company’s strategic review released in October. 
Starpharma Holdings Limited (ASX:SPL) has raised $32 million via a placement to domestic and international institutional, sophisticated and professional investors. The company advised the placement was significantly oversubscribed. 
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Energy adding 0.35 per cent to close at 7,625. The worst performing sector was Industrials, losing 0.9 per cent to close at 4,771 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Dick Smith, rising 8.96 per cent to close at 36c. Shares in Slater & Gordon and Mesoblast also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Cardno, dropping 7.06 per cent to close at $1.52. Shares in Transpacific and Platinum Asset Management also closed lower. 
Gold is trading at $US1,077 an ounce. 
Light crude is $0.14 down at $US37.51 a barrel. 
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7218.

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