It has been a disappointing end to the trading session for the Australian share market, with an afternoon sell-off taking place. It seems investors are starting to believe the “sell in May, go away” mentality, with the local bourse losing 0.98 per cent at the close. While most sectors finished the day in the red, it was the Financials space which proved to be the biggest weight on the index, with the big four banks losing between 1.5 and 2.5 per cent. We also saw the big miners sold off, with BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) closing the day 2 per cent lower.
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 58 points down to finish at 5,892.
The value of trades was $6 billion on volume of 891 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) and BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP).
On the futures market the SPI is 56 points down.
Oventus Medical Limited (ASX:OVN) has announced significant progress relating to clinical validation of its O2 Vent oral appliance. The pilot clinical trial of the device showed the O2 Vent Mono is not only effective in the mild to moderate range of sleep apnoea, but 100 per cent of patients experienced a significant improvement in snoring, 82 per cent of which was eliminated completely. Shares in Oventus Medical closed flat at $0.44.
Sky and Space Global Limited (ASX:SAS) says it has closed its $10 million placement after it was heavily oversubscribed.
Fairfax Media (ASX:FXJ) says the New Zealand Commerce Commission (NZCC) has declined its proposed merger with Fairfax New Zealand Limited and NZME Limited.
Genworth Mortgage Insurance Australia Limited (ASX:GMA) says its first quarter results for FY17 are in line with expectations, reporting a statutory net profit of $52.2 million.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Energy adding 0.64 per cent to close at 9,318. The worst performing sector was Financials, losing 1.75 per cent to close at 6,867 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Isentia Group (ASX:ISD), rising 13.01 per cent to close at $1.65. Shares in Orocobre (ASX:ORE) and Nine Entertainment (ASX:NEC) also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Vocus Group (ASX:VOC), dropping 27.16 per cent to close at $2.44. Shares in Pact Group (ASX:PGH) and G8 Education (ASX:GEM) also closed lower.
Morphic Ethical Equities Fund Limited (ASX:MEC) started trading today. The listed investment company floated with an issue price of $1.10, opened at $1.08 and closed at $1.07.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,255 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.70 lower at $US48.08 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7490.