Market Wrap: Aus shares close 1.17% lower

Market Reports

The local share market has now hit two and a half year lows, with investors continuing their sell-off amid global economic uncertainty; the index losing 1.17 per cent at the close. It was once again a sea of red across the screen with falls in the big miners and banks, that’s except for CBA which bucked the trend adding about 1.5 per cent.
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 56 points lower to finish at 4,776. 
 
The value of trades was $6.7 billion on volume of 1.01 billion shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ) and Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC)
 
On the futures market the SPI is 71 points lower.

Economic news

Consumer sentiment has surged for the month of February, according to latest figures from Westpac and the Melbourne Institute. Confidence rose by 4.2 per cent to 101.3; that’s compared to a read of 97.3 in January. A reading of 100 indicates a balance between optimists and pessimists. 
 
Company news

Unilife Corporation has reported a 13.3 per cent increase in revenue to US$7.68 million for the half year to 31 December 2015. The increase in revenue was attributed to development activities for various customers. The company is currently trying to finalise a deal with drug-giant Amgen relating to the acquisition of a 19.9 per cent stake in the medical device company. Shares in Unilife Corporation closed 4.35 per cent lower at $0.22. 
 
Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) has reported a 4 percent increase in cash net profit after tax to $4.804 billion in the six months to 31 December 2015.
 
AGL Energy Limited (ASX:AGL) has posted a statutory loss after tax of $449 million in the six months to 31 December, versus a profit of $308 million a year earlier.
 
Stockland Corporation (ASX:SGP) has reported an 8.1 per cent increase in net profit to $313 million for the half year to 31 December 2015.
 
OzMinerals Limited (ASX:OZL) says a record year of production has produced a 168 per cent jump in profit to $130.2 million for 2015.
 
Best and worst performers

The sector with the least losses was Utilities slipping 0.03 per cent to close at 7,061. The worst performing sector was Telcos, losing 3 per cent to close at 1,968 points.
 
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was CIMIC, rising 8.89 per cent to close at $25.47. Shares in Boral and Ansell also closed higher.
 
The worst performing stock was Mesoblast, dropping 11.76 per cent to close at $1.20. Shares in Computershare and Liquefied Natural Gas also closed lower. 
 
Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,191 an ounce.
Light crude is $1.34 lower at $US28.35 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7054.