Flat day of trade: Aus shares close .04% lower

Market Reports

by David Murdoch

The Australian share market has narrowly missed a third straight day of gains this week. Following record leads on Wall street and a rally in the iron ore price, the Australian share market shot up at the open, with materials and financials leading the way before the local bourse lost momentum and closed .04 of a per cent lower.

The mining giants like Rio (ASX:RIO), BHP (ASX:BHP) led the charge on the back of the iron ore price lift; with LendLease Group (ASX:LLC) also adding 2.5 percent. As for the sectors, Utilities, Industrials and the Telcos were the biggest drags on the market. With debate still raging about the Liddell coal-fired power station, AGL (ASX:AGL) closed 1.36 per cent lower and Telstra (ASX:TLS) closed almost 2 per cent lower. At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 2 points lower to finish at 5,744.

The value of trades was $4.8 billion on volume of 685 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 Telstra (ASX:TLS).

On the futures market the SPI is flat.

Asian Markets

Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.49 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.28 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.06 per cent.

Company News

360 Capital Group has made a $1.95 per security unconditional all-cash takeover offer to acquire Asia Pacific Data Centre Group (ASX:AJD).
The offer price of $1.95 represents a 3.7 per cent premium to the NEXTDC offer of $1.87 per security. 360 Capital group says the offer represents a compelling opportunity for the AJD board to secure for AJD shareholders.
Shares in Asia Pacific Data Centre (ASX:AJD) rose 4.8 per cent to close at $1.97.
 
Afterpay Touch Group (ASX:APT) has entered into an agreement with Jetstar, the Qantas Group’s (ASX:QAN) low cost airline, marking its first buy now, pay later venture into the travel industry.

Westpac (ASX:WBC) has announced it has priced US$1.25 million of US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) registered securities.

And Senex Energy (ASX:SXY) has announced a new gas supply project for Queensland’s Surat Basin to investors at an oil conference in Perth.

Best and worst performers 

The best performing sector was Materials adding 0.67 per cent to close at 10,721.
The worst performing sector was Telcos, shedding 1.64 per cent to close at 1,274 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Mayne Pharma (ASX:MYX), rising 13.18 per cent to close at $.73. Shares in St Barbara Limited (ASX:SBM) and Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) also closed higher.
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Graincorp (ASX:GNC), dropping 4.56 per cent to close at $8.16. Shares in Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY) and Aveo Group (ASX:AOG) also closed lower.

Commodoties

Gold is trading at $US1,331 an ounce.
Light crude is 23 cents up at $US48.86 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 80.28Fl US cents.