Negative turn: Aus shares close 0.29% lower

Market Reports

by Carolyn Herbert

The Australian share market’s burst of energy yesterday has proved to be short-lived, with the local bourse falling into the red at the open and failing to resurface throughout the session before closing 0.29 per cent lower. The materials space did the bulk of the heavy lifting with gains in the big miners, but this was offset across the board with losses in the gold stocks. The financials space along with REITs failed to impress this session.

The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 16 points down to finish at 5,414.

The value of trades was $4.4 billion on volume of 689 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) and ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ).

On the futures market the SPI is 9 points down.

Economic news

The Reserve Bank of Australia has kept the official cash rate on hold at a record low of 1.5 per cent for September after cutting interest rates at its August meeting by 25 basis points. Having eased monetary policy at its May and August meetings, the Board decided that keeping rates unchanged at this meeting would be consistent with sustainable growth in the economy and achieving the inflation target over time.

Company news

Adairs Limited (ASX:ADH) has appointed Mark Ronan as the next Managing Director and CEO of the company. David MacLean will retire as the current MD and CEO in November. Mr MacLean has been with the company for 27 years and has been involved in developing a succession plan for the past three years. Shares in Adairs closed 2.38 per cent down at $2.46.

Australia’s largest natural gas infrastructure business, the APA Group (ASX:APA), will expand its 7,500 km East Coast Grid by a further 50 km.

LiveHire Ltd (ASX:LVH) has landed a high-profile client, by signing a deal with Telstra Health.

Doray Minerals Ltd (ASX:DRM) says it has commenced production of gold and gold-copper-silver concentrate at its Deflector Project in WA.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Materials adding 0.3 per cent to close at 8,761. The worst performing sector was REITs, losing 1 per cent to close at 1,461 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Whitehaven Coal, rising 8.5 per cent to close at $2.17. Shares in Village Roadshow and Japara Healthcare also closed higher.

The worst performing stock was Altium, dropping 5.36 per cent to close at $9.36. Shares in Alumina and Medibank Private also closed lower.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,327 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.73 higher at $US45.17 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7624.

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