It has been a disappointing end to the week for the Australian share market, which opened in the red and was pushed further under water as the session went on, before closing 0.79 per cent lower. Most sectors incurred losses today, but it was the financials space was the heaviest weight on the index with losses of around 1.7 per cent in all of the big four banks. Healthcare, along with the energy space, was one of the better performers with gains in the likes of CSL (ASX:CSL) and Sirtex (ASX:SRX).
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 46 points down to finish at 5,721.
The value of trades was $4.4 billion on 649 million shares at the close of trade.
The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ) and Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC).
On the futures market the SPI is 52 points down.
Taking a look at US markets, they were mixed for the four trading days this week. The Dow Jones lost 0.04 per cent, the S & P 500 gained 0.06 per cent, the Nasdaq lifted 1.07 per cent and the 100 index gained 1.52 per cent.
Finbar Group (ASX:FRI) says it has received approval for its $108 million Palmyra project in Western Australia. The residential project will comprise 258 apartments developed in two stages. The first stage of the project is expected to commence in 2017, with construction to commence once sufficient pre-sales have been achieved. Shares in Finbar closed 1.02 per cent lower at $0.97.
Standard and Poors Rating Services (S&P) has upgraded Atlas Iron Limited's (ASX:AGO) credit rating to "B-" from “”CCC”.
Fonterra Shareholders fund (ASX:FSF) has released its 2016/2017 global dairy update citing decreases in New Zealand milk collections.
SurfStitch Group Limited (ASX:SRF) has announced the end of its contractual relationship with Streamline Retail Pty Limited.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Energy adding 0.43 per cent to close at 9,373. The worst performing sector was Financials excluding REITs, losing 1.43 per cent to close at 7,386 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC), rising 4.53 per cent to close at $3.00. Shares in Aconex (ASX:ACX) and Origin Energy (ASX:ORG) also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Western Areas (ASX:WSA) dropping 19.21 per cent to close at $2.65. Shares in Independence Group (ASX:IGO) and Bellamy’s Australia (ASX:BAL) and also closed lower.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,194 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.80 higher at $US53.86 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7484.