It has been quite the sell-off on the Australian share market this session, following Wall Street’s worst trading day for 2017 overnight. The local bourse dropped like a stone at the open and lingered deeper into negative territory throughout the session and ended up closing the day 1.56 per cent lower. While almost every sector closed in the red today, REITs were the shining light with some modest gains of around 0.4 per cent. The Financials space was hit the hardest along with Materials, both down around 2.1 per cent with losses across the board.
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 90 points down to finish at 5,685.
The value of trades was $5.6 billion on volume of 842 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 89 points down.
Austal Limited (ASX:ASB) has announced that the United States Department of Defense has awarded Austal USA a cost-plus-fixed-fee modification to a previously awarded contract for Littoral Combat Ship core class services, with a potential value of US$36.6 million. Austal USA says it will assess engineering and production challenges as well as test new technology candidates, as directed by the United States Government. Shares in Austal Limited closed 0.6 per cent down at $1.65.
Agricultural chemical company Nufarm (ASX:NUF) has released its 1H17 results, and its revenue rose 15% to $1.36 billion.
Fonterra (ASX:FSF) has released its first half interim results, and reported that its net profit rose 2% to $418 million.
Creso Pharma (ASX:CPH) has signed a commercial agreement with Brazil-based Sin Solution as part of its expansion into the Latin American market.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was REITs adding 0.43 per cent to close at 1,343. The worst performing sector was Materials, losing 2.14 per cent to close at 9,716 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Premier Investments (ASX:PMV), rising 4.06 per cent to close at $14.35. Shares in Sky Network (ASX:SKT) and Nufarm (ASX:NUF) also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG), dropping 5.29 per cent to close at $6.27. Shares in Bluescope Steel (ASX:BSL) and Monadelphous (ASX:MND) also closed lower.
Fat Prophets Global Contrarian Fund (ASX:FPC) started trading today. The listed investment company floated with an issue price of $1.10, opened at $1.50, and closed at $1.36.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,245 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.76 lower at $US48.15 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7669.