Market Wrap: Aus shares close down

Market Reports

After negative offshore leads the Australian share market opened lower but recovered ground throughout the day to close down point three per cent, helped by a recovery in resources.

The S&P/ASX200 Index dropped 14 points to close at 4,629. On the futures market, the SPI is down 17 point lower.

Company news: Telecom Corporation of New Zealand (ASX:TEL) shares jumped almost 8.5 per cent this afternoon to reach a near-16 month high after the company announced it’s expecting to split its network operations into a separate company by the end of the year. Telecom will soon start building a government-sponsored broadband network. Shares in Telecom Corporation of New Zealand (ASX:TEL) ended the day 8.19 per cent higher at $1.85.

The Australian newspaper reported today that Tabcorp's (ASX:TAH) casino business, Echo Entertainment, could be worth up to $4.5 billion as a takeover target when the gaming company demerges next month. Shares in Tabcorp Holdings (ASX:TAH) ended the day flat at $7.70. 

Mincor Resources (ASX:MCR) is expanding its portfolio of mineral assets, after announcing a landmark joint venture today to secure a world class exploration project with PNG exploration company, Niuminco Ltd, and its PNG subsidiaries.

Thorn Group (ASX:TGA), who owns Radio Rentals, has reported a 13 per cent increase in actual net profit after tax, to $22 million, with revenue up 8.6 per cent, for the year ending March 31.

Lend Lease Group (ASX:LLC) has signed a deal to sell its 50 per cent stake in the $US1.25 billion King of Prussia shopping mall in the US, to the Morgan Stanley Prime Property Fund.

Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) has downgraded its forecast production at the Curragh metallurgical coal mine in Queensland, blaming unseasonal rainfall and a mechanical failure.

The best performing sector was Telco Services up up by 12 points to close at 1,035. The worst performing sector was Financials Excluding Real Estate Investment Trusts, dropping 42 points to close at 4,994.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX200 was Telecom corporation of New Zealand (ASX:TEL) shares rose 8.19 per cent to close at $1.85. Shares in Lynas (ASX:LYC) and Iluka (ASX:ILU) also closed in positive territory today.

The worst performing stock was Hastie Group (ASX:HST), shedding 5.66 per cent to close at $0.25. Shares in Paperlinx (ASX:PPX) and Infigen Energy (ASX:IFN) also sagged today.

In commodities, gold is trading at $US1,518 an ounce and Light crude is up $0.45 cents at $US98.15 a barrel.


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