It has been a disappointing end to the trading week for the Australian share market, opening in the red and remaining underwater for the rest of the session before closing the day 0.66 per cent lower. The Energy space experienced the biggest losses this session, thanks to a drop in the price of oil overnight. We also saw selling in the Materials and Financials spaces with losses in all of the big four banks. REITS had the biggest gains today followed by the Utilities sector.
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 38 points down to finish at 5,752, gaining 24 points over the week.
The value of trades was $6 billion on volume of 733 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RIO) and Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC).
On the futures market the SPI is 36 points down.
The Nikkei is 0.6 per cent lower, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is flat and the Shanghai Composite is 0.2 per cent higher.
Looking at Wall Street, US major indexes have risen over the four trading days this week: The Dow Jones Industrial Average has added 1.3 per cent. The S&P 500 Index has added 1.4 per cent. The NASDAQ has added 2 per cent. The 100 Index has added 2.2 per cent.
Some key Industry earnings for 2016-16 has been released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Rental, hiring and real estate services grew by 14 per cent to $6.8 billion for the year. Education and training grew by 19.6 per cent and the mining industry contracted by 17.5 per cent.
Ten Network Holdings Limited (ASX:TEN) has had to respond to a query from ASX regarding movements in the TV stations share price. Shares in Ten closed at 21 cents on Tuesday, but hit a low of 16.5 cents today. Ten has confirmed it is in compliance with its ASX disclosure obligations, but there has been selling by Lazard Asset Management and its associates. Shares in Ten closed 2.86 per cent down at $0.17.
Fairfax Media Limited (ASX:FXJ), Fairfax New Zealand Limited and NZME Limited (ASX:NZM) will file an appeal against the New Zealand Commerce Commission’s (NZCC) decision to deny the proposed merger of the companies.
Slater and Gordon (ASX:SGH) has filed a class action in the Federal Court of Australia against Spotless Group Holdings Limited (ASX:SPO).
Select Harvests (ASX:SHV) has downgraded its almond crop estimates for 2017 at its Carina West Processing Facility in Victoria.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was REITs adding 0.4 per cent to close at 1,402. The worst performing sector was Energy, losing 1.7 per cent to close at 9,555 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Sigma Healthcare (ASX:SIG), rising 6.58 per cent to close at $0.81. Shares in Fisher and Paykel Healthcare (ASX:FPH) and JB Hi-Fi (ASX:JBH) also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (ASX:API), dropping 7.38 per cent to close at $1.82. Shares in FlexiGroup (ASX:FXL) and Ansell (ASX:ANN) also closed lower.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,259 an ounce.
Light crude is $2.65 lower at $US48.71 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7434.