It has been a lack-lustre end to the session for the Australian share market. Despite following positive leads from Wall Street and opening higher, the local bourse ran out of puff in the afternoon and ended up closing the trading day virtually flat or 0.12 per cent lower. The energy space proved to be the biggest weight on the index today after the price of Brent crude slipped overnight. Not a such a great session either for the materials space with the big iron ore miners and many of the gold stocks finishing the day in the red.
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 7 points up to finish at 5,412.
The value of trades was $4.4 billion on volume of 693 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 10 points lower.
IMF Bentham (ASX:IMF) has announced that it proposes to fund claims of certain and current shareholders of UGL Limited (ASX:UGL). IMF says the claims relate to alleged misleading or deceptive conduct and to alleged breaches by UGL of its continuous disclosure obligations in connection with UGL’s Ichthys LNG power station project. The class action will be conducted by Slater and Gordon (ASX:SGH) lawyers in Melbourne. Shares in IMF Bentham closed 3.07 per cent up at $1.84.
Ingenia Communities Group (ASX:INA) has announced it will sell-down the majority of its Deferred Management Fee portfolio.
Karoon Gas Australia Ltd (ASX:KAR) has entered a deal to buy Pacific Exploration and Production Corp’s 35% equity stake in the Santos Basin exploration blocks, in the Atlantic Ocean near Brazil.
Mining industry experts, RungePincockMinarco Ltd (ASX:RUL), announced that they have completed a $13 million equity raising.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Utilities adding 0.6 per cent to close at 21,945. The worst performing sector was Energy, losing 0.2 per cent to close at 1,836 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was AGL Energy, rising 5.77 per cent to close at $18.70. Shares in Infigen Energy and Bluescope Steel also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Resolute Mining, dropping 8.9 per cent to close at $2.00. Shares in Galaxy Resources and Origin Energy also closed lower.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,325 an ounce.
Light crude is $1 lower at $US44.93 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7675.