Market retreats after three-session high: Aus shares close 0.15% lower

Market Reports

by Clive Tompkins

Today’s session saw shares in negative territory, with the market falling well below 6000 points, a turn after last week’s nine-and-a-half-year highs, where we saw the market hitting above 6000 points for the first time since the GFC.

Mining and energy stocks fell between 2-3% after a drop in the iron ore price. Fortescue (ASX:FMG), BHP (ASX:BHP), Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO), Monadelphous (ASX:MND) and Woodside (ASX:WPL) all fell as expected. In the energy sector, a drop in the oil price had a similar effect with WorleyParsons (ASX:WOR) falling more than 4% and Santos (ASX:STO) down over 2%.

Health Care, Info Tech and Discretionaries led the markets today, while all other sectors fell. Project management software company Aconex (ASX:ACX) saw a positive rise. Dulux (ASX:DLX) was also in the green after announcing positive first half year results, and Qantas (ASX:QAN) picked up today.

At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 35 points down, or 0.58% lower, to finish at 5,934.

The value of trades was $6.4 billion on volume of 859 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Woodside, BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP)) and Westpac.

On the futures market, the SPI is 26 points lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 1.45%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.8% and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.8%.

Economic news

The wage price index rose only 0.5% for the September quarter, with a marginal annual increase of 2% -- below market expectations, which was eying a 0.7% quarterly increase.

Consumer confidence has dipped this month by 1.7% to 99.7 just before the Christmas spending season hits, after a rise of 3.6% last month.

Company news

Clean Seas Seafood (ASX:CSS) has successfully completed a $17.6 million capital raise. The funds raised will support ongoing growth in the Yellowtail Kingfish biomass and investment in farming and processing facilities. Existing shareholders will receive 144.3 million shares at 6 cents a share. Shares in Clean Seas Seafood (ASX:CSS) closed 1.16% lower at 6.1c

Dulux Group (ASX:DLX) has reported net profit after tax (NPAT) growth of 9.6% to $142.9 million for the 2017 financial year to September.

Pact Group (ASX:PGH) has announced the acquisition of two Asian enterprises and Western Australian supply store ECP Industries, to be funded through a fully underwritten entitlement offer of $176 million.

E-health company G Medical (ASX:GMV) has raised $13.5 million through a heavily oversubscribed institutional and sophisticated investor placement.

IPOs

IXUP (ASX:IXU) started trading today. The software company floated with an issue price of $0.20, opened at $0.37 and closed at $0.44.

Telex Pharmaceuticals (ASX:TLX) started trading today. The pharmaceuticals company floated with an issue price of $0.65, opened at $0.81 and closed at $0.77.

Lustrum Minerals (ASX:LRM) started trading today. The junior exploration company floated with an issue price of $0.20, opened at $0.21 and closed at $0.22

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was S&P/ASX Consumer Discretionary, adding 0.20% to close at 2,274.

The worst performing sector was S&P/ASX Energy, shedding 1.70% to close at 9,861 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Dulux Group (ASX:DLX), rising 6.10% to close at $8.00. Shares in Aconex (ASX:ACX) and St Barbrara (ASX:SBM) also closed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Australian Agricultural Company (ASX:AAC), dropping 7.4% to close at $1.44. Shares in Monadeplhous Group (ASX:MND) and Washington H Soul Pattison & Co (ASX:SOL) also closed lower.

Commodities

Gold is trading at $US1,281 an ounce.

Light crude is $1.81 down at $US55.16 barrel.

One Australian dollar is buying 75.86 US cents.

Are you a 708 sophisticated investor?

A sophisticated investor is defined under Section 708 of the Corporations Act (net assets of $2.5 million or annual incomes in excess of $250,000).

They are eligible to receive information regarding wholesale investment opportunities that are not available to regular or retail investors.

Please subscribe if you would like to be alerted to these types of opportunities.