Market Wrap: Aus shares lower

Market Reports

The Australian share market closed 1.3 per cent lower after a weak overseas lead and profit taking following several weeks of gains. Banks and miners led the declines.

The S&P/ASX 200 Index is 62 points lower to finish at 4,583. On the futures market, the SPI200 is down 68 points.

To company news: ThinkSmart Ltd (ASX:TSM) will raise around $16 million in equity to fund new growth in Australia and its expansion into the UK. The fully underwritten capital raising will be undertaken through a $9.8 million accelerated non-renounceable entitlement offer and a $6.2 million institutional placement. The company that arranges finance for the renting of equipment has also today announced it will launch a consumer proposition in the UK and is on track to enter the market in time for the Christmas trading period. Shares in ThinkSmart are in a trading halt, and last traded at $0.655 cents.

Cue Energy Resources Ltd (ASX:CUE) has posted an annual profit rebound, up from a loss of almost $25 million last year to a record profit of $27.5 million in fiscal 2010. The oil and gas explorer says it has been a record year for oil production and income, largely as a result of a full year of production from its Maari Field in New Zealand. Production income was up 80 per cent to $54.7 million. Shares in Cue Energy Resources closed 1.39% up at $0.365.

Telstra (ASX:TLS) may cut up to 6,000 staff. According to media reports today, the telco could shed up to 15 per cent of its workforce as part of its $1 billion strategy to boost its bottom line.

Nexus Energy Ltd (ASX:NXS) says its Longtom Gas project will resume production today or tomorrow, to allow for the processing of gas to sales by 7 October.

Gold miner Catalpa Resources Ltd (ASX:CAH) has booked a profit turnaround, recording a net profit of $5.55 million in fiscal 2010, from a loss of $6.8 million the year before.

Stockland (ASX:SGP) has upped its stake in takeover target and retirement village operator Aevum Ltd (ASX:AVE) to 54.56 per cent.

In the best and worst performers: All sectors closed in the red today, the sector with the smallest loss at close was Utilities with the index down 18 points to 4,474. The worst performing sector was Telco Services with the index down 20 points to 905.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ ASX200 was Sundance Resources shares were 6.38% higher at $0.25. Shares in Sigma Pharmaceuticals and Southern Cross Media Group also closed higher. The worst performing stock was St Barbara with shares dropping 6.02% to close at $0.39. Shares in Charter Hall Retail and Perseus Mining closed weaker today.

In commodities, gold is trading at $1308 US an ounce. And light crude is down $0.23 at $77.63 US a barrel.