Losing momentum: Aus shares close 0.49% lower

Market Reports

by Carolyn Herbert

It has been another disappointing end to the session for the Australian share market, thanks to weak leads from Wall Street on the back of Fed rate hike fears. The local bourse plunged at the open and couldn’t find its rhythm and closed the day 0.49 per cent lower. At the end of the day, the healthcare space was the heaviest weight on the index this session, with CSL losing close to 3 per cent and Primary Health Care shed just over 5 per cent.

The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 27 points down to finish at 5,508.

The value of trades was $6 billion on volume of 777 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), CSL Limited (ASX:CSL) and Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC) .

On the futures market the SPI is 36 points down.

Economic news

The unemployment rate has dropped to 5.7 per cent for July according to latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Around 26,200 full time jobs were added for the month, exceeding economists’ expectations of 10,000 jobs.

Company news

UGL Limited (ASX:UGL) says it has secured a contract with Transport for NSW for the delivery of the new $2.3 billion New Intercity Fleet. The project will replace trains carrying customers from Sydney to the Central Coast, Newcastle, the Blue Mountains and the South Coast. Shares in UGL closed 7.2 per cent up at $2.68.

AMP Limited (ASX:AMP) has reported a $523 million profit for the first half of 2016. This result is a 3% improvement compared to the first half of 2015.

Brambles Ltd (ASX:BXB) has announced its underlying profit after tax grew by 8% to $US623 million.

Origin Energy Ltd (ASX:ORG) has announced its underlying profit was down 41% to $354 million in FY16.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Staples adding 0.8 per cent to close at 8,963. The worst performing sector was Healthcare, losing 1.9 per cent to close at 21,831 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Treasury Wine Estates, rising 11.52 per cent to close at $10.65. Shares in Worley Parsons and Iress also closed higher.

The worst performing stock was Primary Health Care, dropping 5.25 per cent to close at $3.97. Shares in Select Harvests and Mesoblast also closed lower.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,353 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.41 higher at $US47.63 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7709.


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