Fed fears: Aus shares close 0.32% lower

Market Reports

by Carolyn Herbert

The Australian share market has spent another session in negative territory with Aussie investors spooked as to what looks like an imminent rate hike by the Federal Reserve this month. The local bourse took a nose dive early in the session and remained underwater for the rest of the day before closing 0.32 per cent lower. The materials space ended up being the day’s worst performer with a sell off in the big miners bearing the heaviest weight on the sector.

The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 17 points down to finish at 5,416.

The value of trades was $4.8 billion on volume of 673 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP), ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ).

On the futures market the SPI is 3 points down.

Economic news

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has reported that The Performance of Manufacturing index fell 9.5 points to 46.9 for the month of August. A reading above 50.0 indicates expansion. Private New Capital Expenditure has fallen 5.4 per cent in the June quarter. Expenditure for buildings and structures fell by 10.6 per cent for the quarter seasonally adjusted. Retail trade figures also came in for July relatively unchanged (0%) following a rise of 0.1 per cent in June.

Company news

Mesoblast Limited (ASX:MSB) has announced that the former chief executive of Roche Pharmaceuticals has been appointed as Vice Chairman of Mesoblast. In the role, William Burns will focus his considerable pharmaceutical experience on activities relating to the execution of major strategic partnerships and corporate transactions. Shares in Mesoblast closed up 1.12 per cent at $1.35.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare (ASX:FPH) has reported that its full-year net profit (after tax) rose 15% to $NZ436 million last financial year.

Queensland-based developer, Villa World (ASX:VLW), has announced it has reached an in-principle settlement agreement with the parties in the Silverstone litigation.

360 Capital Group (ASX:TGP) has announced that the Subiaco Square Shopping Centre, in Perth, has been sold for $38.4 million.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Staples adding 0.3 per cent to close at 8,952. The worst performing sector was Materials, losing 1.65 per cent to close at 8,511 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Aconex, rising 7.18 per cent to close at $6.87. Shares in Mayne Pharma and Gateway Lifestyle also closed higher.

The worst performing stock was Western Areas, dropping 5.26 per cent to close at $2.34. Shares in Whitehaven Coal and Syrah Resources also closed lower.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,308 an ounce.
Light crude is $1.49 lower at $US44.86 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7534.