It has been sheer market mayhem on the Australian share market today; from what started off as a positive session has descended into an absolute sell-off following Britain’s exit from the EU. In a vote that has shocked markets around the world and contradicted the bookies, our local bourse took a nose dive just after 11am and ended up closing the day 3.17 per cent lower. In total more than $50 billion was wiped from the market. All sectors finished the day in negative territory but the big miners and big four banks were absolutely smashed, with BHP shedding more than 8 per cent and the big four losing between 3 and 4 per cent.
Today, the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 168 points down to finish at 5,113. Over the week the index lost 50 points.
The value of trades was $9.8 billion on volume of 1.2 billion shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) and ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ).
On the futures market the SPI is 168 points down.
Looking at Wall Street, US major indexes have risen over the four trading days this week: The Dow Jones Industrial Average has added 1.9 per cent. The S&P 500 Index has gained 2 per cent. The NASDAQ has added 2.2 per cent. The 100 Index has added 2.1 per cent.
The people of the UK have spoken and decided it’s time to say goodbye to the EU. With close to 100 per cent of the votes now counted the LEAVE camp has secured 51.8 per cent of the vote, compared to REMAIN’s 48.2 per cent.
Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) says that Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded the outlook of the company’s corporate family rating to stable. Moody’s noted that the debt reduction achieved in the second half of fiscal 2016 has lowered breakeven costs and created a substantial buffer for the company to maintain leverage metrics. Shares in Fortescue closed 7.4 per cent lower at $3.27.
APN News and Media Limited (ASX:APN) has announced it has reached a Heads of Agreement with the New Zealand Inland Revenue Department (IRD).
AMP Limited (ASX:AMP) has announced the election of Catherine Brenner as Chairman of the AMP Board, effective immediately.
Best and worst performers
The sector with the least losses was Telcos losing 0.1 per cent to close at 1,976. The worst performing sector was Financials excluding REITs, losing 4.2 per cent to close at 6,238 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Evolution Mining, rising 12.33 per cent to close at $2.46. Shares in Saracen Mining and Newcrest also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was CYBG, dropping 17.51 per cent to close at $4.57. Shares in BT Investment and Henderson Group also closed lower.
Lithium Power International (ASX:LPI) started trading today. The lithium explorer listed with an issue price of $0.20, opened at $0.31 and closed at $0.275.
Commodities and the dollar
The price of gold is trading at $US1,316 an ounce, and is up $23.46 over the week.
Light crude is $0.71 higher at $US50.11 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $0.7381 and is down 0.2 of a cent over the week.