Market Wrap: Aus shares hover in red

Market Reports

The Australian share market today hovered in negative territory. Investors nervously looked to Europe for developments after news Greek leaders formed a unity government in an effort to avert a debt default. At home the financials finished the day as the worst performers with both Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC) and Macquarie Group Limited (ASX:MQG) trading ex-dividend.

The S&P/ASX200 Index lost 8 points to finish at 4,273. On the futures market the SPI is 7 points down.

Economic news

Jobs advertisements fell for the fourth consecutive month. According to ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ), total job ads growth dropped 0.7 per cent in October, extending a fall of 2.1 per cent the month before. Year on year jobs ads were down by 0.6 per cent in October.

The Australian Performance of Construction Index has shown the level of construction picked up last month but still remained under 50, the level that indicates contraction. The Australian Industry Group and Housing Industry Association have shown the PCI rose 4.7 points to 34.7 points in October.

Company news

Shares in Ramelius Resources Limited (ASX:RMS) fell today on news the gold miner had raised $40 million to develop its Mt Magnet mine in Western Australia and fund possible acquisitions. The funds have been secured through firm commitments from institutional investors to purchase 34.8 million shares at $1.15 per share. Ramelius plans to raise an extra $15 million from a share purchase plan available to eligible investors at the same price. Shares in Ramelius Resources closed 7.69 per cent lower today at $1.20.

Shares in Alchemia Limited (ASX:ACL) rose today on news the drug developer has raised $15 million though a share placement to institutional investors and is looking to raise an extra $5 million through a share purchase plan. The funds will be put towards trialling its cancer drug and finalising the manufacturing process of another one of its drugs. Alchemia also revealed that it is considering a demerger of its wholly-owned subsidiary, Alchemia Oncology Pty Ltd. Shares in Alchemia closed 10.9 per cent higher today at $0.305.

Shares in Adelaide Energy Limited (ASX:ADE) surged more than 40 per cent, after Beach Energy Limited (ASX:BPT) launched a $93 million cash bid to acquire the remaining 80 per cent interest that it does not already own.

Shares in Centro Properties Group (ASX:CNP) climbed more than 16 per cent on speculation its proposed merger with Centro Retail Trust (ASX:CER), to create Centro Retail Australia, could become a takeover target. 

Shares in Computershare Limited (ASX:CPU) jumped the best performer of the S&P/ASX200 Index on news US regulators have given the share registry the green light to acquire Bank of New York Mellon's investor-services business for $US550 million.

Shares in explosives maker Orica Limited (ASX:ORI) closed higher after posting a 3.8 per cent increase in its full year underlying profit and forecasting growth ahead.

Best and worst performers

Most sectors closed in the red: The best performing sector was Consumer Staples, adding 55 points to close at 7,658. The worst performing sector was Financials Excluding Real Estate Investment Trusts, shedding 34 points to close at 4,696 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX200 was Computershare, jumping 15.62 per cent to close at $8.44. Shares in Resolute Mining and Orica also finished stronger.

The worst performing stock was Murchison Metals, dropping 7.02 per cent to close at $0.265. Shares in Westpac Banking closed lower after trading ex-dividend. Shares in OM Holdings also fell.

Commodities

The price of gold is $US1,770 an ounce. Light crude is up $0.41 at $US94.67 a barrel.


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