The Australian share market has shied away from its fifth day of straight gains, but we made six weeks of profits and closed slightly lower. Earlier the ASX200 was just one point off a fresh 10-year high.
Most sectors closed lower today with the crude oil prices slipping marginally and energy claiming the worst performing post.
Discretionary players shone the most today with Tabcorp (ASX:TAH) collected a gain about 3.5 per cent, while miners also boded well today after Fortescue (ASX:FMG) rose 1.9 per cent on the iron ore price rising while its futures are tipping a lift of over 3 per cent.
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 2.5 points or 0.04 per cent lower at 6,116. Over the week we added 53 points or 0.87 per cent.
The Dow futures are suggesting a 32 point gain.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 1 point up.
Value of trades
$5.4 billion on volume of 640 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), NAB (ASX:NAB) and ANZ (ASX:ANZ).
Local economic news
Housing finance fell 4.4 per cent in March, with investment loans tumbling 9 per cent. In the previous month, investment property loans actually rose 0.5 per cent (in seasonally adjust terms), so it’s a big reverse. As for home loans, or owner-occupied loans they fell 2.2 per cent, a slightly bigger drop than the expected fall of an even 2 per cent.
Copper focused producer, OZ Minerals (ASX:OZL) is a step closer to taking over Avanco Resources. It comes as Avanco’s largest shareholder, Appian has formally accepted the recommended takeover from OZ Minerals. Oz Minerals already owns about 36 per cent of Avanco and the offer is for all of Appian’s shares in Avanco. Blackrock and its related entities also accepted directly into the offer through institutional the institutional acceptance facility. The offer is due to close on 1 June 2018. OZ Minerals (ASX:OZL) closed 0.8 per cent higher at $10.33.
REA Group (ASX:REA) announced strong revenue and EBITDA growth with the group revenue rising 20 per cent to $592 million and earnings from core operations jumping 21 per cent to $345 million for the nine months to 31 March 2018.
Perpetual (ASX:PPT) has appointed Rob Adams as its new CEO and managing director, with him set to start on 24 September this year. He’s previously held chief executive positions at Challenger Funds Management (ASX:CGF) and First State Investments (UK). Rob Adams is currently head of Pan-Asia for global investment management company, Janus Henderson (ASX:JHG).
Canadian gold mining company, Kirkland Lake Gold (ASX:KLA) is snapping up $20.7 million of Novo Resources Corp shares, buying the 4 million shares off Artremis Resources (ASX:ARV). The deal is booked to close at the end of May. For small mining company Artemis Resources (ASX:ARV) it means they’ll bank the almost $21 million into its cash reserves, while retaining their 50 per cent Novo/Artemis JV in the Karratha area.
Best and worst performers of the day
The best performing sector was consumer discretionaries adding 0.9 per cent while the worst performing sector was financials, shedding 0.5 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Greencross Limited (ASX:GXL), rising 6.7 per cent to close at $4.15. Shares in Rea Group Ltd (ASX REA) and Pendal (ASX:PDL) followed higher.
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was AMP Limited (ASX:AMP), dropping 5.8 per cent to close at $3.73. Shares in IOOF Holdings Limited (ASX:IFL) and Link Administration Holdings Limited (ASX:LNK) followed lower.
Japan’s Nikkei has added 1.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 1.3 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.1 per cent.
The Dow Jones added 1.9 per cent, The S&P 500 added 2.2 per cent and the tech heavy Nasdaq gained the most, 2.6 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,320 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.27 up at $US71.32 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 75.42 US cents.
Bitcoin is at US$9,021, Ethereum is at US$736 and EOS trades at US$17.74