Another disappointing session for the local share market today on the back of lack lustre leads from Wall Street; the local bourse struggling for momentum throughout the session and closing 0.61 per cent lower. The materials space proved to be the biggest drag on the market with losses in the big miners BHP and Rio Tinto and no relief for gold stocks either after a drop in the price of the precious metal overnight. Small gains in the big four banks, weren’t enough to keep the index’s head above water.
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 33 points lower to finish at 5,323.
The value of trades was $5.4 billion on volume of 809 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP)
, ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ)
and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA)
On the futures market the SPI is 25 points lower.
Unemployment has remained steady at 5.7 per cent for last month, with 10,800 new jobs added, according to latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected the read to come in at 5.8 per cent.
Speedcast International Limited (ASX:SDA)
says it has been awarded a contract to provide one of the most prestigious global oilfield service companies in the world with a fully managed network service for ten sites in the UAE and Oman. The satellite communications and network services provider says the win demonstrates the company’s ability to achieve revenue synergies as a result of recent acquisitions. Shares in Speedcast International closed 0.98 per cent higher at $4.13.
Centuria Metropolitan REIT (ASX:CMA)
has announced a $17.6 million increase in the value of its property portfolio.
Collins Foods Limited (ASX:CKF)
has entered an agreement to buy 13 KFC restaurants around the NSW and Victoria border.
JB Hi-Fi Limited (ASX:JBH)
has confirmed that it is only having "preliminary" and "exploratory" discussions with The Good Guys about a potential acquisition.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Financials excluding REITs adding 0.3 per cent to close at 6,658. The worst performing sector was Materials, losing 2.6 per cent to close at 7,907 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was James Hardie, rising 6.17 per cent to close at $20.12. Shares in Henderson Group and JB Hi-Fi also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was St Barbara, dropping 10.49 per cent to close at $2.39. Shares in Evolution Mining and Regis Resources also closed lower.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,256 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.30 lower at $US48.78 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7210.