Market Wrap: Aus shares dip

Market Reports

The Australian share market finished 0.88 per cent lower today after dipping in the middle of the session and not recovering, the possibility of a US default continued to weigh on investors.

The S&P/ASX200 Index fell 39 points to close at 4,425 while for the week it was 178 points lower. On the futures market, the SPI is 55 points lower.

Looking to the US and on Wall Street, the DOW Jones Industrial Average was down 441 points over the four trading days this week. The S&P 500 Index fell 44 points, NASDAQ was down 93 and the 100 Index declined 58.

Economic news

RP Data-Rismark reports the rate of home values declined by 0.2 per cent for the month of June across capital cities.

Company news

Foster's Group Limited (ASX:FGL) has relaunched its beer business. The company has also renamed Carlton & United Breweries to Carlton United Brewers. Customers should expect to see new brandmarks as part of the launch. The relaunch of Carlton United Brewers was planned after Foster’s demerged its beer and wine business in May. Foster’s shares rose 1.41 per cent today, closing at $5.05.

Austar United Communications Limited (ASX:AUN) is confident Foxtel will overcome competition hurdles to secure its takeover. The regional pay-TV group today reported flat first-half earnings and deflated subscriber growth. Foxtel has bid $2 billion for Austar, with the ACCC making the final ruling on the deal in September. Austar shares fell 0.94 per cent today to close at $1.05. 

Westfield Group (ASX:WDC) will manage and lease the retail facilities at New York’s World Trade Centre site.

Origin Energy Limited (ASX:ORG) has reported record full year production and sales revenues, up 30 per cent on the year prior. Production for the June quarter was also higher.

Best and worst performers

Utilities was the only sector closing in positive territory, rising 46 points to close at 4,314. The worst performing sector was Materials, losing 188 points to close at 13,193. The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX200 today was Lynas Corporation Limited, shares rising 2.87 per cent to close at $2.15. Shares in Echo Entertainment Group Limited and Spark Infrastructure Group also closed in positive territory today. The worst performing stock was OceanaGold Corporation shedding 11.57 per cent to close at $2.37. Shares in Kagara Limited and Karoon Gas Australia Limited also closed weaker today.

Commodities
 
Gold is trading at $US1,614 an ounce and is up $16.75 on the week. Light crude is down 37 cents at $US97.07 a barrel.

Australian dollar

The Australian dollar is buying $US1.0962 cents, having reached a new record this week and ending the week higher.