Market Wrap: Aus shares drop 0.365%

Market Reports

The Aussie sharemarket fell 0.365 per cent today, pulled down by retailers and the big banks.
 
The S&P/ASX 200 Index lost 16 points to finish at 4,273. On the futures market, the SPI is 5 points lower.
 
Company news 
 
The day before it is expected to post second quarter sales results, Woolworths Limited (ASX:WOW) has announced three new non-executive directors. Christine Cross was previously executive of UK supermarket chain Tesco; David Mackay was president of the Kellogg Company as well as managing director of Sara Lee; and Michael Ullmer was deputy group chief executive at NAB. Shares in Woolworths lost 1.29 per cent today, closing at $24.45.
 
Seven Group Holdings chairman Kerry Stokes has reportedly sold his two per cent share in Ten Network Holdings (ASX:TEN). The Australian Financial Review says the shares may have been placed in a nominee company to shield the investment. Shares in Ten rose 0.56 per cent today, closing at 89.5 cents. 
 
The BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP) board is meeting with key political leaders of South Australia ahead of the final decisions on the o$20 billion expansion of the miner’s Olympic Dam project. SA deputy opposition leader Mitch Williams has told Fairfax the meeting’s a method of demonstrating strong political support for the project.
 
Transurban Group (ASX:TCL) CEO Chris Lynch has resigned, effective from July. He says he’s moving onto the next stage in his professional journey.
 
BKI Investment Company Limited (ASX:BKI) posted a 5.2 per cent lift in first half profit today, and says it’s expecting more pensioners and retirees to snap up its shares for the strong yield.
 
And Onesteel (ASX:OST) is set to receive $64 million from the federal government’s Steel Transformation Plan (STP) to help it prepare for the start of the carbon tax in July.
 
Sectors and stocks
 
The best performing sector was consumer discretionary, up 3 points to close at 1,222. The worst performing sector was consumer staples losing 48 points to close at 7,337.
 
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Bluescope, up 6.49 per cent to 41 cents. Shares in Industrea and Paladin followed.
 
The worst performing stock was Kagara, falling 7.89 per cent to close at 35 cents. Shares in White Energy and Gryphon also lost value.
 
Commodities

The price of gold is $US1,733 an ounce. Light crude is down 55 cents at $US99.01 cents a barrel.