The Australian share market wallowed in negative territory for the duration of today’s session, finishing 0.6% lower, stifled by the weight of industrials, sliding amidst a smorgasboard of downgraded outlooks from mining service companies. Consumer discretionary and financials stocks also fell by over or around 1 per cent.
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 29 points down to finish at 5,180. The value of trades was $4.9 billion on volume of 904 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ)
, National Australia Bank Limited (ASX:NAB)
and Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC)
On the futures market the SPI is 28 points down.
The reserve Bank of Australia released the minutes from its May board meeting, offering some explanation for its surprise rate cut. The Central bank says the inflation outlook provided scope to ease monetary policy further, also noting that credit growth had remained subdued in judging that a further reduction in the cash rate was appropriate.
Boart Longyear Limited (ASX:BLY)
expects full-year earnings to be at the lower end of its already downgraded forecast as industry conditions continue to weigh on the drilling service provider. Chief executive officer Richard O’Brien says the group has cut 1000 jobs in the current calendar year as Boart seeks to control the factors it can, namely total costs. Shares in Boart Longyear closed 0.64 per cent down at $0.78.
Discovery Metals Limited (ASX:DML)
shares dived today after the Botswana-focused copper miner said it was looking for a buyer and emerged from a long trading halt. Chinese private equity suitor Cathay Fortune has proposed a new indicative and conditional offer of 35-40 cents per share and started due diligence- not its first rodeo- after Discovery rejected a $1.70 per share bid last year. Shares in Discovery Metals closed 41.18 per cent down at $0.20.
Seven West Media Limited (ASX:SWM)
announced Tim Worner as the company’s new CEO, just 12 months after Don Voelte took on the role.
Arrium Limited (ASX:ARI)
says its year-to-date sales are 23 per cent higher than the previous corresponding period and expects to sell between 8.2 and 8.4 mega tonnes for the full year.
Transfield Services Limited (ASX:TSE)
has lowered its full-year profit guidance amid a slowdown in resources and infrastructure projects.
Ruralco Holdings Limited (ASX:RHL)
first half net profit has sunk to $496 thousand, weighed down by costs associated with its pursuit of rival Elders Limited (ASX:ELD)
and lower livestock prices.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Real estate investment trusts adding 7 points to close at 1,135.
The worst performing sector was Industrials, losing 51 points to close at 3,765.
The best performing stock in the S&PASX 200 was St. Barbara Limited(ASX:SBM)
, rising 9.52 per cent to close at $0.69. Shares in Perseus Mining Limited (ASX:PRU)
and Beadell Resources Limited (ASX:BDR)
also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Discovery Metals Limited (ASX:DML)
, dropping 41.18 per cent to close at $0.20. Shares in Fleetwood Corporation Limited (ASX:FWD)
and Transfield Services Limited (ASX:TSE)
also closed lower.
Gold is trading at $US1,396 an ounce. Light crude is $0.07 up at $US97.00 a barrel.
The Australian dollar
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.9831