Out of puff: Aus shares close 0.42% lower

Market Reports

by Carolyn Herbert

It has been a disappointing end to the trading week for the Australian share market. After spending the bulk of the session in positive territory, the local bourse ran out of puff in the last two hours of trade and ended up closing the day 0.42 per cent lower. The materials space was hit the hardest this session, with iron ore futures coming back online and tracking lower in afternoon trade. However gold stocks once again bucked the trend, with the price of the precious metal advancing further overnight on the back of political uncertainty around President Donald Trump.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 24 points down to finish at 5,622, over the week the index lost 92 points.

The value of trades was $4.6 billion on volume of 680 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP), Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RIO) and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA).

On the futures market the SPI is 33 points down.

US markets

They finished lower for the four trading days this week. The Dow Jones lost 1.1 per cent, the S&P 500 lost 0.6 per cent, the Nasdaq was down 0.4 per cent and the 100 index was also down 0.4 per cent.

Company news

Capilano Honey Limited (ASX:CZZ) has reported mixed financial results for the half year ended 31 December 2016. The honey manufacturer’s revenue was down 0.9 per cent for the period to $66.5 million, however net profit after tax rose 7.3 per cent to $5.9 million. No interim dividend was declared for the period. Shares in Capilano Honey Limited closed 1.5 per cent lower at $15.77.

Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd (ASX: VAH) has announced its underlying profit before tax was $45.9 million for December quarter.

James Hardie Industries PLC (ASX: JHX) has announced its Group Adjusted net operating profit for the quarter ending 31 December 2016 fell 6% to US$52.6 million.

TerraCom Limited (ASX:TER) has announced the Queensland government has granted indicative approval subject to conditions, for the transfer of the mining lease at the Blair Athol Coal Mine.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Utilities adding 0.9 per cent to close at 8,083. The worst performing sector was Materials, losing 2.2 per cent to close at 10,107 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Aconex (ASX:ACX), rising 5.48 per cent to close at $3.08. Shares in Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG) and Navitas (ASX:NVT) also closed higher.

The worst performing stock was Southern Cross (ASX:SXL), dropping 4.78 per cent to close at $1.40. Shares in Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) and James Hardie (ASX:JHX) also closed lower.

Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,214 an ounce it gained $26.15 over the week.
Light crude is $0.24 lower at $US53.64 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7650 gaining 1 cent over the week.


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.