Market Wrap: Aus shares dip

Market Reports

The Australian sharemarket has closed more than 1 per cent lower, weighed down by weak retail stocks and cautious investor sentiment.

Today, the S&P/ASX 200 Index dipped 49 points to finish at 4,091. On the futures market, the SPI is down 31 points.

Company news

An appeal has been lodged against ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ) over allegedly unlawful fees. Earlier this month the judge ruled that late fees on credit cards could be legally unenforceable, but honour, dishonour fees and overlimit fees were upheld. Law firm Maurice Blackburn has now lodged an appeal in the Federal Court against the ruling. ANZ shares closed 1.44 per cent lower, at $20.55.

Kathmandu Holdings Limited (ASX:KMD) has posted a profit warning flagging its first-half earnings will be lower than the year before. Sales have deteriorated significantly in the past five weeks. Chief executive Peter Halkett says the retail environment has become increasingly difficult, with Christmas trading below expectations. Kathmandu shares plunged 25.45 per cent today to close at $1.23.

OneSteel Limited (ASX:OST) will write down $150 million in the value of its LiteSteel Technologies business due to weak residential construction activity.

BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP) has launched legal action against the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) over industrial action at its Queensland operations, that’s according to The Australian.

Asciano Limited (ASX:AIO) has won a new 10 year contract with Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RIO) to haul eight million tonnes of coal a year in Queensland.

And Gloucester Coal Limited (ASX:GCL) shares were placed in a trading halt as the company works toward a merger, reportedly with China's Yanzhou Coal.

Best and worst performers

Telco Services was the best performer, up 3 points to 1,125. The worst performing sector was Utilities, it fell 96 points, closing at 4,514.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX200 was OneSteel gaining 10.29 per cent to $0.75, followed by Aurora Oil and Gas and Seven Group Holdings.

The worst performing stock was Ramelius Resources, it dropped 9.05 per cent to $1.105 cents, followed by Intrepid Mines and Billabong International.

IPO

Ambassador Oil and Gas Limited (ASX:AQO) listed on the market today, with an issue price of $0.20, opening price of $0.175 and closing price of $0.19.

Commodities

The price of gold is $US1,608 an ounce and Light crude is up 2 cents at $US98.69 a barrel.