Muted finish: Aus shares close 0.08% lower

Market Reports

by Carolyn Herbert

It has been a disappointing end to the Thursday trading session for the Australian share market, which ran out of puff in the last two hours of trade and ended up closing the day 0.08 per cent lower. Sectors finished the day broadly mixed, but it was Telcos that lead the charge with some small gains. Utilities ended up being the worst performer of the day.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 5 points down to finish at 5,761.

The value of trades was $5 billion on volume of 689 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 5 points down.

Asian markets

Taking a look at how Asian markets are tracking in afternoon trade. The Nikkei is flat, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is down 1.1 per cent and the Shanghai Composite is 0.8 per cent lower.

Company news

Growthpoint Properties (ASX:GOZ) has announced it has undertaken more than 18,700 square metres of additional leasing since April 2017. This includes a significant lease of more than 14,000 square metres at Melbourne Airport. Growthpoint is due to release its full year results on the 21st of August. Shares in Growthpoint Properties closed flat at $3.17.

Nick Scali Limited (ASX:NCK) reported a record net profit after tax (NPAT) of $37.2 million for the financial year ending 30 June 2017, which is an increase of 42.4 per cent on the prior corresponding period.

Virgin Australia (ASX:VAH) has announced an underlying loss of $3.7 million for the 2017 financial year.

Aristrocrat (ASX:ALL) has expanded its digital footprint by entering into an agreement to snap up an Israeli gaming company for US$500 million.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Telcos adding 0.6 per cent to close at 1,458. The worst performing sector was Utilities, losing 1.1 per cent to close at 8,251 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Orora Limited (ASX:ORA), rising 9.16 per cent to close at $2.98. Shares in Western Areas (ASX:WSA) and Independence Group (ASX:IGO) also closed higher.

The worst performing stock was Vocus Group (ASX:VOC), dropping 5.83 per cent to close at $3.23. Shares in Magellan Financial (ASX:MFG) and Seven West Media (ASX:SWM) also closed lower.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,280 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.53 up at $US49.70 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7880.

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