Market Wrap: Aus shares close in the red

Market Reports

The Australian share market gave up earlier gains and closed in the red today, led lower by the major banks and miners. A stumble on the Shanghai stock exchange sparked general selling coupled with a tight monetary environment pressuring the market. The S&P/ASX200 Index down 26 points today to close at 4,737. On the futures market, the SPI is down 21 points. Company news: Engineering consultancy firm Coffey International Ltd (ASX: COF) has announced a further round of job cuts in order to reduce costs which have been affected by delayed and cancelled projects. The company says the latest cost-cutting program will be implemented immediately, with job cuts to be completed by February next year. Coffey says the job cuts are expected to produce around $15 million in cost savings per year with a $6.5 million saving in the second half of the current financial year. Shares in Coffey International closed 8.37 per cent lower $1.04. Karoon Gas Australia Ltd (ASX:KAR) has rebounded from its failed South American spin-off with a series of potential joint venture deals coupled with a nine-well drilling program. The company has created a shortlist of nine potential joint venture partners for its oil and gas projects in Brazil. It is also set to drill at least nine new wells across three countries over the next 18 months. Last month, Karoon Gas pulled the proposed $2 billion listing of its early-stage oil and gas exploration project on Brazil’s Bovespa exchange, citing unfavourable market conditions. Shares in Karoon Gas closed 0.54 per cent lower to $7.40. Biotechnology company Phylogica Ltd (ASX:PYC) has forged a deal with Pfizer to discover peptide-based vaccines. Energy exploration company Panax Geothermal Ltd (ASX:PAX) is planning a $5 million equity raising in order to fund projects in Australia and Indonesia. Perpetual Ltd (ASX:PPT) says takeover talks with private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) have ended after both companies failed to develop mutually acceptable terms in relation to KKR’s proposal. Rio Tinto Ltd (ASX:RIO) is reportedly in advanced talks to divest its talc business, Luzenac, for around $667 million to a French mineral conglomerate, Imerys. In the best and worst performers: The best performing sector at close was Real Estate Investment Trust, with the index lifting 5 points to close at 848. The worst performing sector was Financials excluding Real Estate Investment Trust with the index dropping 56 points to close at 5,080. The best performing stock in the S&P/ ASX200 was Lynas Corporation, as shares added 7.36 per cent to close at $1.605. Shares in Aristocrat and Ramsay Healthcare also advanced today. The worst performing stock was Perpetual as shares lost 14.78 per cent to close at $31.54. Shares in Infigen and PaperlinX also fell today. In commodities, gold is trading at $US1,382 an ounce and light crude is down $0.11 cents at $US87.91 a barrel.