Friday freefall: Aus shares close 0.86% lower

Market Reports

by Carolyn Herbert

It has been a disappointing end to the week for the Australian share market, which followed a weak lead from Wall Street and closed the day 0.86 per cent lower. The financials space namely the big four banks proved to be the biggest drag on the index after the European Central Bank noted that it would ease up on economic stimulus. The materials space was one of the best performers, along with energy stocks after commodity prices rallied overnight.

Today, the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 47 points down to finish at 5,339.Over the week the index lost 34 points.

The value of trades was $6 billion on volume of 863 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), Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC).

On the futures market the SPI is 36 points down.

Looking at Wall Street, US major indexes were mixed over the four trading days this week: The Dow Jones Industrial Average has lost 0.1 per cent. The S&P 500 Index has added 0.1 per cent. The NASDAQ has added 0.2 per cent. The 100 Index has added 0.1 per cent.

Company news

Navitas Limited (ASX:NVT) has announced that it has entered into a 50:50 joint venture agreement with Edith Cowan University for the operation of Navitas’ original pathway college, PIBT. Under the new agreement the college is to be renamed Edith Cowan College and will continue to provide English language and university pathway programs at ECU’s Joondalup and Mt Lawley campuses in Perth. Shares in Navitas closed flat at $5.05.

Origin Energy Limited (ASX:ORG) has announced CEO Grant Kings retirement and the appointment of Frank Calabria in his place.

Medical Developments International Limited (ASX:MVP) says it’s received regulatory approval in the United Arab Emirates for its Penthrox pain killer drug.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Energy adding 1.7 per cent to close at 8,317. The worst performing sector was REITs, losing 1.7 per cent to close at 1,418 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Sigma Pharmaceuticals, rising 9.34 per cent to close at $1.41. Shares in Whitehaven and Australian Pharmaceuticals also closed higher.

The worst performing stock was Bluescope Steel, dropping 4.09 per cent to close at $8.20. Shares in Saracen Minerals and APN Outdoor also closed lower.

Commodities and the dollar

The price of gold is trading at $US1,338 an ounce, and is up $15.68 over the week.
Light crude is $1.82 higher $US47.32 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $0.7651 and is up 0.8 of a cent over the week.


Carolyn Herbert

Finance News Network
Carolyn joined FNN in August 2015 as the Head of News and also presented the Market at Midday and the Market Wrap. With more than five years of broadcast journalism experience, Carolyn has worked as a finance anchor on the Sky News Business channel and as an anchor and reporter for ABC News. She is also a qualified corporate lawyer specialising in IPOs, takeovers and mergers and acquisitions.