Lacking direction: Aus shares finish flat

Market Reports

by Carolyn Herbert

It seems that many Australian investors are still on holiday today, as this session was characterised by relatively low volumes and a flat finish with the market gaining 0.1 per cent. It was a weak start to the session after the local bourse followed a disappointing lead from Wall Street, but it managed to claw back those early losses thanks to gains in the staples and energy sectors. At the close it was REITs that proved to be the heaviest weight on the index.

The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 6 points up to finish at 5,484.

The value of trades was $4.3 billion on volume of 684 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX:TLS), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) and Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC).

On the futures market the SPI is 8 points up.

Economic news

The Reserve Bank of Australia has once again kept interest rates on hold at a record low of 1.5 per cent. At today’s meeting, the RBA said the global economy continues to grow at a slower than average pace and that inflation remains quite low and will remain that way for some time.

Company news

National Vet Care (ASX:NVL) has announced the successful completion of the final three clinics which were to be settled in New Zealand as part of the announcement made at the end of August. This brings the total number of clinics in New Zealand to seven. Total consideration for the acquisition is NZ$4.27 million made up of cash and scrip. Shares in National Vet Care closed 2.38 per cent higher at $1.94.

Japan’s Hitachi Construction Machinery Co has launched a takeover offer to acquire mining equipment supplier, Bradken Ltd (ASX:BKN).

Origin Energy Ltd (ASX:ORG) will be meeting with various pipeline owners this week to discuss the sale of its Darling Downs gas pipelines.

Galaxy Resources Ltd (ASX:GXY) has announced that its Mt Cattlin Project in Ravensthorpe, Western Australia, will begin wet commissioning.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Energy adding 0.9 per cent to close at 8,602. The worst performing sector was REITs, losing 1.1 per cent to close at 1,422 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Galaxy Resources, rising 14.06 per cent to close at $0.36. Shares in Henderson Group and FlexiGroup also closed higher.

The worst performing stock was Reliance Worldwide, dropping 3.16 per cent to close at $3.06. Shares in Southern Cross and Northern Star also closed lower.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,312 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.41 higher at $US48.65 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7673.


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.