The Australian share market (ASX:XJO) opened lower today despite positive leads from Wall Street. It showed slight signs of recovery around midday and again during the last hour of trading, closing with most sectors in the green. The Energy sector weighed down the market as today’s worst performer, followed by Financials and Real Estate. While Healthcare was the strongest performing sector of the day, with Materials and Communications trailing behind.
At the closing bell the ASX 200 index closed 8 points higher, or 0.1 per cent higher to finish at 5,849.
Over the week the market gained 184 points or 3.2 per cent.
Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 132 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 14 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a fall of 0.5 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 16 point rise on Monday morning.
Most traded stocks
The top 3 traded stocks by value were BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP), Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG) and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA).
The Australian Bureau of statistics has reported that the Producer Price Index rose 0.8 per cent in the September quarter.
Retail sales edged 0.2 per cent higher during September, below market expectations of a 0.3 per cent rise, and was softer than August's 0.3 per cent lift.
Mining company Ausdrill’s (ASX:ASL) credit rating has been raised by Standard and Poor’s Global Ratings to "BB’. This follows their acquisition of Barminco Holdings. S&P also raised Barminco’s credit ratings to "BB". S&P believes that the acquisition should improve Ausdrill's operating scale, service and commodity diversity. Shares in Ausdrill (ASX:ASL) closed 1.9 per cent lower at $1.52.
Mining major Orica (ASX:ORI) have reported that their net profit after tax was down 16 per cent year-on-year to $324 million, a loss of $48 million for the 2018 financial year. This follows poor earnings before interest and tax in the first half of the financial year and technical issues with the Burrup ammonium nitrate plant.
The Star Entertainment Group (ASX:SGR) has been granted a development approval. It will allow them to develop up to four additional mixed-use towers on the Star’s Gold Coast property. They do not believe this will affect their capital expenditure guidance for FY2019 to FY2021.
The board of Woolworths Group (ASX:WOW) has recommended that shareholders do not support a resolution to provide additional ongoing disclosures in relation to their labour hire program and the human rights risks in their supply chain. The resolutions will be considered at the company’s AGM on 21 November 2018.
Best and worst performers of the day
The best performing sector was Healthcare adding 1.5 per cent while the worst performing sector was Energy shedding 1.1 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY), rising 13.2 per cent to close at $2.58. Shares in Orocobre (ASX:ORE) and Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) followed higher.
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Corporate Travel Management (ASX:CTD), dropping 9 per cent to close at $20.32. Shares in CSR (ASX:CSR) and Fairfax Media (ASX:FXJ) followed lower.
Asian markets are trading higher. Japan’s Nikkei has added 2.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 3.5 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 1.9 per cent.
US wrapped up their four trading days this week higher. The Dow Jones added 2.7 per cent, The S&P 500 added 3 per cent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 3.6 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,233 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 1.3 per cent to US$75.71 and its futures are pointing to a fall of 3.9 per cent.
Light crude is US$1.77 lower at US$63.54 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 72.4 US cents.
Some of the most traded cryptocurrencies are trading lower. Bitcoin has fallen 1.1 per cent to US$6,368, Ethereum has fallen 0.1 per cent to US$199 and EOS has fallen 1.8 per cent to US$5.31, in the last 24 hours.