The Australian share market opened lower and took a sharp dive at the end of trade to finish 0.91 per cent down on the final day of the 2014 financial year.
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 49 points down to finish at 5,396.
The value of trades was $4.04 billion on volume of 629 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP)
, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA)
and National Australia Bank Limited (ASX:NAB)
On the futures market the SPI is 63 points down.
A Reserve Bank of Australia report shows that total household credit rose in May but personal spending declined, showing consumer confidence was still subdued for the month. Total credit rose by 0.4 per cent with a 0.5 per cent rise from households and a 0.2 per cent rise in business however personal spending slipped 0.3 per cent.
The TD Securities indicator of inflation showed no change in June following a 0.4 per cent rise in April and a 0.3 per cent rise in May. The year on year rate now stands at 3 percent.
Also, the Housing Industry Association said sales of new homes in Australia fell by 4.3 per cent in May, the first dip in 5 months. However sales grew by 3.8 per cent in the three months to May showing a 21 per cent increase on the same three months last year.
Dick Smith Holdings Limited (ASX:DSH)
has beaten the sales guidance detailed in its prospectus ahead of the electronic retailers public listing last December. The company has reported unaudited sales of $1.228 billion for the year to June 29, compared to a forecast of $1.226 billion. Over the full year Dick Smith expects to report earnings of $71.8 million and a net profit of $40 million when it releases its results on August 19. Dick Smith says the better-than-expected performance has been aided by growth in fourth quarter sales despite challenging trading conditions. Shares in Dick Smith Holdings have risen 1.55 per cent to $1.96.
Sydney Airport Limited (ASX:SYD) and the NSW Government have outlined plans to jointly invest almost $500 million to improve traffic flow in and around Sydney Airport. The move is part of a suite of ground transport solutions and airport facility upgrades aimed at minimising congestion and improving the arrival and departure experience. Works are expected to facilitate improved traffic flow around the airport and to Port Botany and future growth and access to the airport. More 150,000 people currently travel to and from the airport every day and an annual figure of 74 million passengers is forecast by 2033. Shares in Sydney Airport have slipped 0.24 per cent to $4.22.
Shares in Qantas Airways Limited (ASX:QAN)
slumped today after disappointing passenger figures for May and reaffirmation the airline expects zero growth for the next three months.
Stockland Limited (ASX:SGP)
has spent $53.5 million on the iconic Brownes Dairy head office just 12m north of Perth, It’s the largest single industrial site in Balcatta, one of Western Australia’s best industrial locations. .
Country Road Limited’s (ASX:CTY)
suitor South African retailer Woolworths Holdings Limited (JSE:WHL) has declared its $17 per share offer for Country Road best and final, ruling out any price increase on the deal.
And Henderson Group plc (ASX:HGG, LON:HGG) is expanding into North America with the acquisition of Geneva Capital Management for about $US200 million
Best and worst performers
All major sectors are down, the sector with the least losses was consumer discretionary shedding 5 points to close at 1,782.The worst performing sector was real estate investment trusts, losing 15 points to close at 1,070.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Ten Holdings, rising 3.92 per cent to close at $0.27. Shares in Pacific Brands and Tatts Group also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Lynas Corporation, dropping 7.14 per cent to close at $0.13. Shares Qantas Airways and Sigma Pharmaceuticals also closed lower.
Gold is trading at $US1,316 an ounce. Light crude is $0.10 down at $US105.74 a barrel. The Australian dollar is buying 94.22 US cents.