Flat finish: Aus shares close 0.08% higher

Market Reports

by Carolyn Herbert

It has been a muted end to the trading session for the Australian share market, after a somewhat uneventful day of trade. The local bourse finished the day practically flat or 0.08 per cent higher. Sectors were mixed today, with gains in Materials and the Financials sectors. These were however offset by losses in the Health Care and Property spaces.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 5 points up to finish at 5,729.

The value of trades was $4.2 billion on volume of 596 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP) and Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC).

On the futures market the SPI is 2 points lower.

Asian markets

Taking a look at how Asian markets are tracking in afternoon trade. The Nikkei is 0.58 per cent higher Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is up 1.65 per cent and the Shanghai Composite is 0.34 per cent higher.

Economic news

According to latest housing finance data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the total value of dwelling commitments rose 1.3 per cent in May seasonally adjusted. In original terms, the number of first home buyer commitments rose to 14 per cent in May 2017 from 13.8 per cent in April 2017.

Company news

Spotless Group Limited (ASX:SPO) has announced a number of new contract wins and renewals and has maintained that its shareholders reject Downer EDI’s (ASX:DOW) takeover offer. The cleaning services company says it has a number of new contracts and renewals valued at over $250 million, with some big name clients like Taronga Zoo and Myer. Spotless is currently the subject of a hostile takeover by Downer EDI which have already acquired a more than 59 per cent interest in the company. Shares in Spotless Group closed flat at $1.15.

Metcash Limited (ASX:MTS) has announced Jeff Adams will succeed Ian Morrice as the company’s new Group Chief Executive Officer.

Vocus Group (ASX:VOC) has received a second takeover proposal for $3.50 cash per share, this time from Affinity Equity Partners.

AusCann Group Holdings’ (ASX:AC8) strategic partner, Tasmanian Alkaloids Pty Ltd, has been granted a medicinal cannabis and a research and development licence from the Office of Drug Control.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Materials adding 0.65 per cent to close at 10,054. The worst performing sector was REITs, losing 0.98 per cent to close at 1,288 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Oz Minerals (ASX:OZL), rising 4.45 per cent to close at $7.75. Shares in Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) and Platinum Asset Management (ASX:PTM) also closed higher.

The worst performing stock was Iron Mountain (ASX:INM), dropping 3.52 per cent to close at $43.64. Shares in Nanosonics (ASX:NAN) and Retail Food Group (ASX:RFG) also closed lower.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,212 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.32 higher at $US44.55 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7612.


Carolyn Herbert

Finance News Network
Carolyn joined FNN in August 2015 as the Head of News and also presented the Market at Midday and the Market Wrap. With more than five years of broadcast journalism experience, Carolyn has worked as a finance anchor on the Sky News Business channel and as an anchor and reporter for ABC News. She is also a qualified corporate lawyer specialising in IPOs, takeovers and mergers and acquisitions.