It was a third straight session in the red today for the local share market, opening flat but continuing to lose momentum throughout the session before closing 0.83 per cent lower. Today it was the materials and financials sectors that proved to be the biggest drag on the market, with the big miners BHP and Rio Tinto leading the losses. Also a sea of red across the energy space, with Santos shedding just over two per cent. Telcos were mixed today; Telstra and Vocus both managed to finish the day in positive territory.
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 44 points lower to finish at 5,279.
The value of trades was $4.8 billion on volume of 714 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ)
, National Australia Bank Limited (ASX:NAB)
and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA)
On the futures market the SPI is down 44 points.
ALS Limited (ASX:ALQ)
says it has received an indicative and non-binding proposal from Advent International and Bain Capital to acquire all of the shares in the company by way of Scheme of Arrangement. Under the proposal, which is highly conditional, Advent and Bain would provide cash consideration of $5.30 per ALS share. The board of ALS has rejected the approach and says it significantly undervalues the company.Shares in ALS closed 27.16 per cent higher at $5.15.
Austal Limited (ASX:ASB)
has been awarded four contracts by the US Navy worth over $6.8 million.
Navitas Limited (ASX:NVT)
has renewed a University Programs agreement with Edith Cowan University (ECU) until January 2021.
Spookfish Limited (ASX:SFI)
has received a $6 million investment from US-based Eagleview Technology.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Telcos adding 0.1 per cent to close at 2,050. The worst performing sector was Financials excluding REITs, losing 1.3 per cent to close at 6,586 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was ALS, rising 27.16 per cent to close at $5.15. Shares in Whitehaven Coal and Select Harvests also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Japara Healthcare, dropping 8.99 per cent to close at $2.43. Shares in Regis Resources and Estia Health also closed lower.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,215 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.09 lower at $US49.01 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7236.