Friday free-fall: Aus shares close 1.02% lower

Market Reports

by Carolyn Herbert

It has been a disappointing end to the trading week for the Australian share market, closing 4 out of 5 days in the red. The local bourse dropped at the open and continued to lose momentum throughout the session, being sold off heavily in the last two hours of trade and closing 1.02 per cent lower. The materials space erased some of yesterday's gains with the likes of BHP and FMG losing 2 and 3 per cent respectively. It was also a sea of red for the big four banks, all shedding close to 1 per cent.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 56 points down to finish at 5,444.

The value of trades was $6.4 billion on volume of 915 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) and Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC).

On the futures market the SPI is 61 points down.

US markets

Looking at Wall Street, US major indexes were mixed four trading days this week: The Dow Jones Industrial Average has added 0.36 per cent. The S&P 500 Index has lost 0.87 per cent. The NASDAQ has lost 2.61 per cent. The 100 Index has lost 2.70 per cent.

Economic news

Retail spending for the month of October has risen 0.5 per cent, according to latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This marks the strongest three months of spending in just over two years, which economists say is encouraging.

Company news

Tabcorp Holdings Limited (ASX:TAH) says the Supreme Court of New South Wales has made orders approving the Scheme of Arrangement for it to acquire all of the shares in Intecq Limited for $128 million. Intecq is a gaming technology firm, which provides services including loyalty programs and gaming machine monitoring. The Scheme will be implemented on the 16th of December. Shares in Tabcorp closed down 0.85 per cent at $4.69.

Bellamy’s Australia Limited (ASX:BAL) says some momentum in its business has been affected by volume dislocation in China due to regulatory changeover.

Helloworld Limited (ASX:HLO) has announced it has successfully completed the acquisition of a 50 percent stake in MTA.

National Storage REIT (ASX:NSR) has announced it will acquire a second freehold storage centre in Artarmon, Sydney.

Best and worst performers

The sector with the least losses was REITs losing 0.4 per cent to close at 1,289. The worst performing sector was Staples, losing 1.9 per cent to close at 8,572 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Evolution Mining, rising 4.71 per cent to close at $1.89. Shares in CSR and Fisher and Paykel also closed higher.

The worst performing stock was Bellamy’s, dropping 43.53 per cent to close at $6.85. Shares in A2 Milk and Bega Cheese also closed lower.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,175 an ounce.
Light crude is $1.47 higher at $US50.91 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US74.07 its half a cent lower over the week.


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