It has been a negative finish for the Australian share market on this Thursday trading session. The local bourse dropped at the open and lost momentum until about lunchtime, but we saw a small turnaround an hour out from the close, with the market finishing 0.34 per cent lower. Negative sentiment amongst the Telcos has continued, with sector heavyweight Telstra (ASX:TLS) losing around 1.5 per cent. The financials space also performed poorly with CBA leading the losses, closing down around 1.7 per cent. But it wasn’t all gloom and doom, Health care and Utilties both finished the day a modest 0.7 per cent higher.
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 20 points down to finish at 5,856.
The value of trades was $4.9 billion on volume of 739 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 ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ).
On the futures market the SPI is 22 points down.
Tokyo’s Nikkei is 1.4 per cent lower, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is 0.4 per cent lower and the Shanghai Composite is up 0.3 per cent.
South32 Limited (ASX:S32) says mining extraction at Cannington has been temporarily impacted by an underground fire that has damaged the load-out and shaft haulage infrastructure. Remediation work will be undertaken over a four week period. The BHP spin-off says production guidance at Cannington remains predicated on the ability to extract higher grade ore in close proximity to the existing underground crusher. Shares in South32 Limited closed 0.34 per cent lower at $2.95.
Cochlear Ltd (ASX:COH) has posted its 1H17 results, reporting sales revenue rose up 4% to $604.4 million, and its net profit rose 19% to $111.4 million.
JB Hi-Fi (ASX:JBH) has announced Michael Ford has resigned as the CEO of The Good Guys after 13 years in the role.
Growthpoint Properties Ltd (ASX:GOZ), has entered into contracts to sell two assets in its property portfolio, as part of its capital management initiative.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Health Care adding 0.7 per cent to close at 22,730. The worst performing sector was Telcos, losing 1.3 per cent to close at 1,613 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY), rising 6.74 per cent to close at $0.48. Shares in A2 Milk (ASX:A2M) and JB Hi-Fi (ASX:JBH) also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Bellamy’s (ASX:BAL), dropping 4.76 per cent to close at $4.40. Shares in Vocus Communications (ASX:VOC) and Seven West Media (ASX:SWM) also closed lower.
Todd River Resources Limited (ASX:TRT) started trading today. The exploration company floated with an issue price of $0.20, opened at $0.22 and closed at $0.23.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,254 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.40 lower at $US50.82 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7545.