Materials only sector in the green: ASX closes 0.7% lower

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market failed to gain momentum and closed 0.7 per cent lower. AMP (ASX:AMP) was the big story of the day as their shares dropped after they announced that the AMP Life sale was "highly unlikely" to proceed.Orocobre (ASX:ORE) is trading at its lowest price for the last two years due to the over-supply in the Lithium market. Perpetual (ASX:PPT) and shares were also down. As for the sectors, Materials was the sector leading the way, with Information Technology at the bottom of the pile.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 44 points lower to finish at 6653.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 30 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 3 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a lift of 4 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 41 point fall tomorrow.

Company news

Smash repair company the AMA Group (ASX:AMA) has entered into a new 5 year supply agreement with The Royal Automobile Club of Queensland. Two additional Greenfield sites will be constructed in Queensland which will have a material impact on revenue being generated from the Company’s Queensland Panel Division once the sites are fully operational. Shares in AMA Group (ASX:AMA) are trading flat at $1.39.

Elders (ASX:ELD) has announced a takeover of independent rural supplies wholesaler Australian independent Rural Retailers for $157 million. On top of the purchase price for AIRR, Elders will pay out the wholesaler’s existing $30 million in debt.

OZ Minerals (ASX:OZL) has inked a deal with Investigator Resources whereby OZ Minerals will fund a $10 million three -stage program to explore Investigator’s Maslins Project.

And as mentioned earlier AMP (ASX:AMP) has said the $3.3 billion sale of its life insurance arm to a foreign buyer is unlikely to proceed. They said the sale of its wealth protection business to London-based Resolution Life is unlikely to go ahead because it is unlikely to get approval from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Materials adding 0.2 per cent while the worst performing sector was Info tech, shedding 2.2 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was St Barbara (ASX:SBM), rising 5.1 per cent to close at $3.29. Shares in Eclipx Group (ASX:ECX) and Western Areas (ASX:WSA) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was AMP (ASX:AMP), dropping 15.8 per cent to close at $1.81. Shares in Perpetual (ASX:PPT) and (ASX:CAR) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei is closed Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.1 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.2 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,413 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 0.1 per cent to US$119.29.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 1.8 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.02 up at US$60.30 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 70.29 US cents.