The Australian share market made its first week of losses after six weeks of gains. We not only saw profit taking, but some commodity price falling. The ore price fell 0.8 per cent to US$67.49 and its futures are eyeing a dip of 0.6 per cent, which put pressure on mining heavyweights like Rio (ASX:RIO) and BHP (ASX:BHP) which lost about 1 per cent. That left miners as the worst performing sector, with telcos and financials following.
Healthcare was the stand out best performer after CSL (ASX:CSL) revealed stronger profits are expected. Plus also in the health sector, Star Combo Pharma (ASX:S66) an IPO from Wednesday saw its shares jump about 22 per cent today, after they rose 27 per cent yesterday and on the listing day it added about 60 per cent. Watch our interview with the Chairman and CEO on our site for more.
Small cannabis company, MMJ (ASXL:MMJ) also boded well, adding 6.5 per cent after it completed a CAD$5.9 million sale (divestment).
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 7 points or 0.11 per cent lower to finish at 6,087. Over the week we gained 29 points or 0.47 cent.
The Dow futures are suggesting a gain of 55 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 13 point fall.
Value of trades
$5.2 billion on volume of 612 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were CSL (ASX:CSL), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) and BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP).
Challenger Financial (ASX:CGF) shares saw a lot of bounce today, taking them back closer to their year-to-date date high of $14.25 with its shares adding 7.1 per cent to $13.18.
CSL (ASX:CSL) has upgraded its profit forecasts by about $13 million, for the 2018 finanical year, with it now expecting net profit after tax to between US$1.68 billion and US$1.7 billion. The upgrade comes after better than expected sales came through, also boosted by the severe influenza season in the northern hemisphere.
And Bellamy’s Australia (ASX:BAL) saw some selling today with the Norway bank, Norges Bank closing their position in the Australian milk product company.
Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) has been granted accreditation by Australia’s office of the National Rail Safety Regulator for operating trains at the group’s iron ore business in Western Australia.
Westpac (ASX:WBC) today announced the appointment of Carolyn McCann to the new position of Group Executive, Customer & Corporate Relations with the company saying the role will help set high service standards and quickly resolve customer issues
And small company Orion Minerals (ASX:ORN) has entered into an agreement with a leading mid-tier miner, Independence Group (ASX:IGO) for them to become a substantial shareholder in the company.
Best and worst performers of the day
The best performing sector was healthcare adding 2.5 per cent while the worst performing sector was materials, shedding 1.1 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Challenger (ASX:CGF), rising 7.1 per cent to close at $13.08 Shares in Eclipx Group (ASX: ECX) and CSL (ASX:CSL) followed higher.
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was nib Holdings (ASX:NHF), dropping 5.3 per cent to close at $5.55. Shares in The A2 Milk Company (ASX:A2M) and IPH (ASX:IPH) followed lower.
Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.4 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng also rose 0.4 per cent and the Shanghai Composite gained 0.5 per cent.
The Dow Jones lost 0.5 per cent, The S&P 500 lost 0.3 per cent and the tech heavy Nasdaq lost 0.3 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,290 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.13 up at $US71.69 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 75.19 US cents.
Bitcoin trades at US$8,049, Ethereum is at US$675 and EOS trades at US$12.57.