Market Wrap: Soft end to strong ASX week

Market Reports

The Australian share market has posted a soft end to a strong week. After gaining more than 2.5 per cent over the week equities floundered at today’s open and drifted to close barely changed. Investors absorbed a busy week of generally solid production reports and the latest Reserve Bank of Australia's (RBA) board meeting meetings that gave a vote of confidence to the domestic economy.   

Figures

The S&P/ASX 200 index lost 8 points on Friday but gained 117 points over the week to finish at 4,199. On the futures market the SPI is now 5 points higher.

Wall Street over four trading days this week: The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 370 points. The S&P 500 Index added 42 points, the Nasdaq added 100 points and the 100 Index added 111 points.

Economic news

A key indicator for the Australian economy, foreign trade price figures, has been released: The Australian Bureau of Statistics has reported the import price index rose 2.4 per cent and the export price index added 1 per cent in the June quarter.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s (ASX:CBA) business sales indicator has shown a rise in spending last month. The indicator measuring the value of credit and debit card transactions rose by 2.5 per cent in June. Spending was up 10 per cent from last year.

Company news

Media company Ten Network Holdings Limited (ASX:TEN) has inked a $145 million deal to sell its outdoor advertising business Eye Corp to Champ Private Equity and it intends to use the proceeds to pay down debt. Shares in Ten Network Holdings closed 1.98 per cent higher at $0.52.

Sydney Airport Limited (ASX:SYD) has posted record numbers for international and domestic passenger in June on the back of more incoming traffic from Singapore and Malaysia. Shares in Sydney Airport Holdings closed 2.33 per cent higher at $3.08.

Surfwear retailer Billabong International Limited (ASX:BBG) today announced the completion of its $225 million capital raising with the shortfall not taken up to be issued to the underwriters, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank.

Ports and rail operator Asciano Limited (ASX:AIO) has entered into a new agreement with BlueScope Steel Limited (ASX:BSL) and Arrium Limited (ASX:ARI) for the continued provision of rail linehaul services.

ANZ Banking Group’s (ASX:ANZ) CEO Mike Smith has confirmed he plans to stay in the job, dispelling rumours he was being eyed to head British bank Barclays.

Iron ore miner Grange Resources Limited (ASX:GRR) has appointed Richard Mehan in a dual title of CEO and Managing Director following the resignation of current CEO, Russell Clark.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Industrials adding 26 points to close at 3,282.
The worst performing sector was Consumer Staples, losing 82 points to close at 8,041 points.

The best performing stock in the S&PASX 200 was Macmahon Holdings Limited (ASX:MAH), rising 8.04 per cent to close at $0.60. Shares in Seven West Media Limited (ASX:SWM) and Toll Holdings Limited (ASX:TOL) also closed higher.

The worst performing stock was Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX:FMG), dropping 5.01 per cent to close at $4.36. Shares in Arrium Limited (ASX:ARI) and Wotif.com Holdings Limited (ASX:WTF) also closed lower.

Commodities

Gold is trading at $US1,582 an ounce, down $7.10 over the week.
Light crude is down $0.76 to $US91.90 a barrel.

The Australian dollar

The Australian dollar is buying $US1.041, almost 2 cents higher over the week.


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