Negative territory: Aus shares close 0.18% lower

Market Reports

by Carolyn Herbert

It has been a disappointing end to the trading week for the Australian share market, with the local bourse finishing the day in negative territory or 0.18 per cent lower. Whilst most sectors were mixed this session, the utilities space did the bulk of the heavy lifting, however this was offset by losses in the healthcare sector.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 11 points down to finish at 5,806, up 85 points over the week.

The value of trades was $5.3 billion on volume of 755 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX:TLS), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) and ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ).

On the futures market the SPI is 12 points down.

US markets

Looking at Wall Street, US major indexes were all higher over the four trading days this week: The Dow Jones Industrial Average has added 1.7per cent. The S&P 500 Index has gained 1.3 per cent. The NASDAQ has added 1.4 per cent. The 100 Index also added 1.4 per cent.

Company news

Santos Limited (ASX:STO) has reported a full year net loss for 2016 of $1.047 billion, after a US$1.1 billion after tax GLNG impairment at the half-year. Underlying profit came in at US$63 million, up US$14 million on 2015. The company says it has made a number of attempts to strengthen its balance sheet, by reducing net debt to US $3.5 billion. Shares in Santos Limited closed 0.5 per cent up at $3.99.

ANZ (ASX:ANZ) has reported a 31 per cent jump in cash profit for the December quarter to $2 billion.

ASX Limited (ASX:ASX) has reported solid profit growth for H1 2017, up 3 per cent to $219.4 million.

Duet Group (ASX:DUE) has reported a 5.3 per cent increase in revenues to $853 million for H1 2017.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Utilities adding 0.75 per cent to close at 8,324. The worst performing sector was Healthcare, losing 1.6 per cent to close at 21,767 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Seek (ASX:SEK), rising 5.69 per cent to close at $15.78. Shares in Link Administration (ASX:LNK) and Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG) also closed higher.

The worst performing stock was Mantra Group (ASX:MTR), dropping 5.63 per cent to close at $2.85. Shares in Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) and Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) also closed lower.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,239 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.32 higher at $US53.84 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7710 its down 0.4 of a cent over the week.


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