Market Wrap: Aus shares finish 0.7% lower

Market Reports

Aus shares finish 0.7% lowerFollowing negative offshore leads the Australian share market opened lower and plateaued for the rest of the day closing 0.7 per cent down.

Today the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 31 points down to finish at 4,266. On the futures market the SPI is currently 24 points down.

Economic news

The Reserve Bank of Australia released the minutes of its May 1st board meeting sighting the "somewhat below trend" growth of the Australian economy as a major reason for the 50-basis point cut to May’s interest rates. Also today the Australian Bureau of Statistics released a report on new motor vehicle sales for April showing a drop of 0.7 per cent for last month to 89,261. Yet new car sales have risen in the year to date by 7.3 per cent.

Company news

The possible takeover of Pacific Brands Limited (ASX:PBG) is in doubt today following the Bonds owner’s statement to the Australian Securities Exchange revealing the takeover, which has been on the table since earlier in 2012, is not likely in the near future. The company today reconfirmed the weak outlook, forecasting low earnings and underlying sales as a result of weak retail conditions. Shares in Pacific Brands Limited closed 5.65 per cent down at $0.58.

Forestry products company Gunns Limited (ASX:GNS) has brokered a deal to sell its hardwood sawn timber business for $28 million. In a statement today Gunns said the transaction will finalise the company’s exit from operations based on native forest wood supply. The embattled company has been in a trading halt since March and last traded at $0.16.

Despite difficult trading conditions Coca-Cola Amatil Limited (ASX:CCL) told their AGM today the company is still predicting a higher underlying profit in the first half of 2012.

Suncorp Limited (ASX:SUN) has revealed the toll natural disasters have taken on the insurer, announcing claims costs of $714 million for the 10 months to April. $253 million above expectations.

News Corporation (ASX:NWS) has secured a 19.9 per cent stake in Chinese film distributor Bona Film Group.

Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX:WPL) has confirmed the company has established an offshore partnership with Israeli company Delek in order to bid for deepwater gas ground off Cyprus.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Telco Services adding 22 points to close at 1,272. The worst performing sector was Materials, losing 211 points to close at 10,223 points.

The best performing stock in the S&PASX 200 was Hastings Diversified Utilities Fund (ASX:HDF), rising 12.8 per cent to close at $2.38. Shares in ResMed Inc (ASX:RMD) and Primary Health Care Limited (ASX:PRY) also closed higher.

The worst performing stock was Energy World Corporation Limited (ASX:EWC), dropping 10.64 per cent to close at $0.42. Shares in Beach Energy Limited (ASX:BPT) and Silver Lake Resources Limited (ASX:SLR) also closed lower.

Commodities

Gold is trading at $US1,553 an ounce. Light crude is $0.63 down at $US94.15 a barrel.

The Australian dollar

The Australian dollar is just above parity buying $US1.0001.

 

Good evening, I’m Helen Mulroy and Welcome to the Market Wrap for Tuesday the 15th May for the Finance News Network.

Following negative offshore leads the Australian share market opened lower and plateaued for the rest of the day closing 0.7 per cent down. 

Today, the S&P/ASX 200 index 31 points down to finish at 4,266. On the futures market, the SPI is currently 24 points down.released the minutes of its May 1 board meeting sighting the somewhat below trend growth of the Australian economy as major reason for the 50-basis point cut to May’s interest rates. Also today the Australian Bureau of Statistics released a report on new motor vehicle sales for April showing a drop of 0.7 per cent for last month to 89,261. Yet new car sales have risen in the year to date by 7.3 per cent.

To company news now: The possible takeover of Pacific Brands Limited (ASX:PBG) is in doubt today following the Bonds owner’s statement to the Australian Securities Exchange revealing a takeover, which has been on the table since earlier in 2012 is not likely in the near future. The company today reconfirmed the weak outlook, forecasting low earnings and underlying sales as a result of weak retail conditions. Shares in Pacific Brands Limited closed 5.65 per cent down at $0.58.

Forestry products company Gunns (ASX:GNS) has brokered a deal to sell its hardwood sawn timber business for $28 million. In a statement today Gunns said the transaction will finalise the company’s exit from operations based on native forest wood supply. The embattled company has been in a trading halt since March and last traded at $0.16.

Despite difficult trading conditions Coca-Cola Amatil (ASX:CCL) told their AGM today the company is still predicting a higher underlying profit in the first half of 2012.

Suncorp (ASX:SUN) has revealed the toll natural disasters have taken on the insurer... announcing claims costs of $714 million for the 10 months to April, $253 million above expectations.

News Corporation (ASX:NWS) has secured a 19.9 per cent stake in Chinese film distributor Bona Film Group.

Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX:WPL) has confirmed the company has established an offshore partnership with Israeli company Delek in order to bid for deepwater gas ground off Cyprus.

Now, to the best and worst performers of the day:

The best performing sector was Telco Services adding 22 points to close at 1,272.
The worst performing sector was Materials , losing 211 points to close at 10,223 points.

The best performing stock in the S&PASX 200 was Hastings Diversified Utilities Fund (ASX:HDF), rising 12.8 per cent to close at $2.38. Shares in ResMed Inc (ASX:RMD) and Primary Health Care Limited (ASX:PRY) also closed higher.

The worst performing stock was Energy World Corporation Ltd (ASX:EWC), dropping 10.64 per cent to close at $0.42. Shares in Beach Energy Limited (ASX:BPT) and Silver Lake Resources Limited (ASX:SLR) also closed lower.


To commodities, gold is trading at $US1,553 an ounce. Light crude is $0.63 down at $US94.15 (US 94 dollars and 15 a barrel) a barrel. The Australian dollar is (is just above parity) buying $US1.0001.

That’s the Market Wrap for Tuesday the 15th May. I’m Helen Mulroy, thanks for joining me on the Finance News Network. We’ll leave you now with a look at the markets, have a great even