It has been a disappointing end to the trading session for the Australian share market, following a weak lead from Wall Street as President-Elect Donald Trump describes the greenback as “too strong”. The local bourse fell away at the open and remained underwater for the rest of the session, closing 0.36 per cent lower. The financials space was one of the heaviest weights on the index with losses across the board. Energy stocks bucked the trend with a small rebound today after the oil price moved higher overnight.
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 21 points down to finish at 5,679.
The value of trades was $4.7 billion on volume of 689 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA)
, Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC)
and BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP)
On the futures market the SPI is 29 points down.Economic news
Consumer confidence has ticked up slightly in January, according to latest figures from the Westpac-Melbourne Institute. Consumer sentiment gained 0.1 per cent for this month, compared to a 3.9 per cent decline in December.Company news
Paladin Energy Limited (ASX:PDN)
has updated the markets on its quarterly activities for the period ended 31 December 2016. The uranium miner says it made sales of 1.5 million pounds of U3O8 at an average selling price of US$26.26 per pound. However lower uranium sales are anticipated for the March quarter due to timing of deliveries under a major contract. Shares in Paladin Energy Limited closed 1.16 per cent lower at $0.09.
Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX:WES)
is expecting its earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) to be between $135 million and $140 million for the first half of 2017.
Qantas Airways (ASX:QAN)
has temporarily grounded 10 of its Bombardier Q400 aircraft and cancelled some of its flights.
Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS)
has awarded the engineering, procurement and construction contract for its Pilangoora Lithium-Tantalum Project to engineering company RCR Tomlinson (ASX:RCR)
.Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Energy adding 1.08 per cent to close at 9,403. The worst performing sector was Healthcare , losing 0.94 per cent to close at 19,596 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG)
rising 6.47 per cent to close at $1.48. Shares in St Barbara (ASX:SBM)
and Treasury Wine Estates (ASX:TWE)
also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was BT Investment Management (ASX:BTT)
, dropping 4.55 per cent to close at $9.64. Shares in APN News and Media (ASX:APN)
and Tassal Group (ASX:TGR)
also closed lower.Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,214 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.18 up at $US53.33 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US7549.