It has been another disappointing session for the Australian share market, following on from yesterday’s heavy losses. The local bourse had a brief period in positive territory around lunch time, but whittled away those small gains in afternoon trade and closed the day practically flat or 0.07 per cent lower. Energy was the best performer at the end of the session and the healthcare space managed to recoup some of yesterday’s losses with the likes of Estia Health gaining around 3.5 per cent. The materials space was mixed, however gold stocks continued to rally with the likes of Evolution Mining and Regis Resources gaining around 4 per cent.
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 3 points down to finish at 5,226.
The value of trades was $4.6 billion on volume of 772 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ), BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP) and National Australia Bank Limited (ASX:NAB).
On the futures market the SPI is 13 points higher.
Adairs Limited (ASX:ADH) says trading for the first four months of this financial year has been below company expectations. The bedding retailer says this is mainly attributed to a fall in sales in its key bed linen category which accounts for more than 40 per cent of total sales. The online sales channel also performed worse than the company expected growing at 15 per cent for the period. The company says it expects an improved performance in the second half of FY17. Shares in Adairs tumbled 41.96 per cent to $1.48.
Australian and New Zealand Banking Group’s (ASX:ANZ) statutory profit after tax fell 24% to $5.7 billion in the full year ended 30 September 2016.
Pharmaceuticals company, Mayne Pharma Group Ltd (ASX:MYX), has received US FDA approval to launch a generic brand medication, containing morphine, which will be used to manage severe pain.
Breville Group Ltd (ASX:BRG) has announced that the distribution partnership it had with Philips will come to an end on 31 May 2017.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Energy adding 0.72 per cent to close at 8,089. The worst performing sector was REITs, losing 0.86 per cent to close at 1,305 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Saracen Minerals, rising 9.79 per cent to close at $1.29. Shares in Mayne Pharma and Nine Entertainment also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Boral, dropping 5.2 per cent to close at $5.83. Shares in Iron Mountain and GWA Group also closed lower.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,305 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.93 lower at $US45.51 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7663.