Market Wrap: Aus shares close 0.44% lower

Market Reports

The Australian share market dropped more than 1 per cent at open, weighed down by negative leads, amid fears of a possible bailout of Spanish banks and the potential exit of Greece from the eurozone and traded in negative territory for the rest of the day before closing 0.44% lower.

Today, the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 18 points down to finish at 4,076. On the futures market, the SPI is currently 12 points lower.

Economic news

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has reported: Building approvals for April fell 8.74 per cent, a three year low and below expectations for a rise. The ABS has also reported new private capital expenditure came in higher than predicted rising 6.1 per cent in the March quarter. The forecast was for a 4.0 per cent rise for the quarter.

Company news

Flinders Mines Limited (ASX:FMS) is stuck in a legal battle that has seen the takeover of the iron ore miner delayed. Flinders Mines inked a deal with Russian based Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works OJSC (MMK) for a takeover that was to be finalised by June 30. However, a minority MMK shareholder has commenced legal proceedings in Russia disputing the takeover. An appeal lodged by Flinders was heard yesterday but was adjourned until early next month delaying the completion of the takeover. Shares in Flinders closed 3.7 per cent up at $0.14.

David Jones Limited (ASX:DJS) has reaffirmed its full year profit will drop between 35 and 40 per cent compared to its full year figures last year. The department store reported its third quarter figures today with total sales down 2.9 per cent from the same time last year. Like-for-like sales was also down 3.1 per cent from the previous corresponding period. Shares in David Jones closed 1.78 per cent down at $2.21.

Fairfax Media Limited (ASX:FXJ) journalists walked out on their jobs today as they began a 36-hour strike action over the outsourcing of 66 editorial jobs to New Zealand. Some of the publications affected include The Age,The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian Financial Review.

Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX:TLS) is reportedly eyeing Nine Entertainment as a potential investment according to The Australian. The Telco is said to be reviewing the financials of the television network with the advice of its investment bank Credit Suisse.

UGL Limited (ASX:UGL) has secured $190 million in new freight locomotive orders with various blue-chip Australian customers.

Technology company TZ Limited (ASX:TZL) has been unsuccessful in securing a lucrative deal whilst also announcing the resignation of its CEO John Wilson.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Health Care adding 102 points to close at 8,971.
The worst performing sector was Financials excluding Real Estate Investment Trusts, losing 61 points to close at 4,497.

The best performing stock in the S&PASX 200 was Evolution Mining Limited (ASX:CAH) rising 5.88 per cent to close at $1.62. Shares in Australian Infrastructure Fund and Silver Lake Resources also closed higher.

The worst performing stock was Aquarius Platinum Limited (ASX:AQP) dropping 6.98 per cent to close at $1.20. Shares in National Australia Bank and Fortescue Metals Group also closed lower.

Commodities

Gold is trading at $US1,563 an ounce.
Light crude is $2.94 down at $US 87.82 a barrel.

The Australian dollar 

The Australian dollar is buying 97.18 US cents.