Going into the Easter long-weekend the local share market has finished the day and the week on a sour note, following weak leads from international markets; the local bourse the day 1.13 per cent lower. It was a dismal session for the financials space today; with red across the screen for all of the big four banks. But it was ANZ and Westpac that were the biggest casualties losing more than 5 and 4 per cent respectively. A good day however for the healthcare space, with CSL, Resmed and Blackmores all making some small gains.
Today, the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 58 points lower to finish at 5,084. Over the week the index lost 82 points.
The value of trades was $7.1 billion on volume of 832 million 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 down 52 points.
Looking at Wall Street, US major indexes have fallen over the three trading days this week: The Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 Index and the Nasdaq all lost 0.6 per cent. The 100 Index slipped 0.2 per cent.
Population growth in Australia has fallen to a ten year low, according to latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Over the year to September 2015 Australia’s population grew by just over 313 thousand, to almost 24 million. Overall the growth rate fell from 1.35 per cent to 1.33 per cent.
Yowie Group Limited (ASX:YOW)
says its pleased to announce Walgreens as a Tier One retailer of the company’s chocolate products. Walgreens is the largest drug retail chain in the United States with annual sales of over $76 billion. Yowie says about 76 per cent of the US population live within five miles of a Walgreens.Shares in Yowie closed 1.41 per cent lower at $0.70.
Santos Limited (ASX:STO)
has given the seal of approval for ENN Group to acquire Hony Capital’s 11.7 percent shareholding in the company.
Healthscope Limited (ASX:HSO)
has announced that Dr Ziggy Switkowski has been appointed as a non-executive director of the company.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Healthcare adding 1.5 per cent to close at 19,424. The worst performing sector was Financials excluding REITs, losing 3.1 per cent to close at 6,468 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Mantra, rising 6.38 per cent to close at $4.50. Shares in SkyCity and Aconex also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was St Barbara, dropping 8.22 per cent to close at $2.01. Shares in Beach Energy and Bendigo Bank also closed lower.
Commodities and the dollar
The price of gold is trading at $US1,218 an ounce, and is down $35.57 over the week.
Light crude is $1.66 lower at $US39.79 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $0.7501 and is down 1 cent over the week.