The Australian share market snapped a three day winning streak today, opening and closing in the red ahead of a ruling on the euro-zone’s bailout funds in Germany and a Federal Open Market Committee meeting in the US.
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 8 points lower at 4,326. On the futures market the SPI is 5 points lower.
Business confidence dropped into negative territory last month, according to a monthly survey by National Australia Bank Limited (ASX:NAB)
. NAB reports business confidence dropped to -2 in August from 4 the month before. Business conditions rose to 1, recovering from a three year low the month before.
Fortescue Metals Group Limited’s (ASX:FMG)
lender has reportedly extended the deadline of a loan as the Pilbara focussed iron ore miner feels the pinch from falling prices for its main product, iron ore. Fairfax Media says it has been informed by person familiar with the matter that Bank of America extended the syndication deadline of a $US1.5 billion loan until the end of September. Shares in Fortescue Metals Group dropped 5.07 per cent today, closing at $3.37.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA)
has reportedly issued $US3.25 billion of unsecured bonds in the US market. The move is understood to have been inspired by central bank intervention in funding markets, according to Fairfax Media. Shares in Commonwealth Bank of Australia lost 0.55 per cent today, ending at $54.18.
Shares in Asciano Limited (ASX:AIO)
lost 0.2 per cent after the ports and rail operator secured a $400 million contract with Linfox Australia Pty Ltd to provide rail haulage services.
Shares in CSL Limited (ASX:CSL)
lifted 2 per cent after the drug manufacturer won a contract with the US Department of Health and Human Services worth up to $1.5 billion.
Shares in Metgasco Limited (ASX:MEL)
rose 16 per cent after the New South Wales Government granted the explorer its first Petroleum Production Lease, renewed exploration licences and announced new regulations for the coal seam gas industry.
Shares in Breakaway Resources Limited (ASX:BRW)
jumped 16 per cent as the mineral explorer delivered its maiden copper resource for its Sandy Creek Project in Queensland.
Best and worst performers
The only sector to close higher was health care adding 160 points to close at 10,351.
The worst performing sector was utilities, losing 48 points to close at 5,008 points.
The best performing stock in the S&PASX 200 was Coalspur Mines Limited (ASX:CPL)
, rising 6.25 per cent to close at $0.68. Shares in BlueScope Steel Limited (ASX:BSL)
and Buru Energy Limited (ASX:BRU)
also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was NRW Holdings Limited (ASX:NWH)
, dropping 8.94 per cent to close at $2.14. Shares in Medusa Mining Limited (ASX:MML)
and FKP Property Group (ASX:FKP)
also closed lower.
Icar Asia (ASX:ICQ)
started trading today: The online car classifieds company listed with an issue price of 20 cents, opened at 21 cents and closed at 23.5 cents.
Gold is trading at $US1,730 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.43 down at $US96.11 a barrel.
The Australian dollar
The Australian dollar is buying $US1.033.