The Australian share market is deeply in the red today and closed 1.29 per cent down after a big sell off in the banks and miners with BHP and Telstra also under fire. Jitters around falling commoditiy prices and slowing demand from China send investors running for the hills.
The S&P/ASX 200 index lost 70 points to finish at 5,363.
The value of trades was $4.32 billion on volume of 728 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA)
, BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP)
and Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC)
On the futures market the SPI is 68 points down.
ALS Limited (ASX:ALQ)
cut its first half profit forecast and warned its result will be impacted by pricing pressures across all business divisions. The laboratory analysis group now expects to report an interim profit of about $64 million, $10 million lower than previous guidance and 36 per cent down on last year’s result. ALS says it’s facing tight market conditions in all sectors, however the company says it remains focused on cost management and right-sizing the businesses for the current market. Shares in ALS slumped 17.22 per cent to $5.77 on the news.
Bank of Queensland Limited (ASX:BOQ)
will pay clients of the failed Storm Financial investmen firm nearly $17 million. The Brisbane based regional lender has struck a deal to settle legal proceedings brought against it by ASIC on behalf of borrowers advised by Storm Financial. The total $22.1 million net impact includes all legal costs and an additional provision for remediation costs. Acting Bank of Queensland boss John Sutton says the company is pleased to have reached a resolution to this long-running issue. Shares in Bank of Queensland dipped 0.5 per cent to $12.06.
Scooter manufacturer Vmoto Limited (ASX:VMT)
has decided against a joint venture with high tech electronics firm Nanjing Haiyong Electronic and will buy the China-based company instead.
Kathmandu Holdings Limited (ASX:KMD)
(NZX:KMD) has lost its General Manager of Sales and Marketing. Tamalin Morton is taking up a new role with Medibank.
Otto Energy Limited (ASX:OEL)
will sell its Galoc Production Company to Singapore-based Risco Energy Investments for US$101 million.
And Panoramic Resources Limited (ASX:PAN)
has taken a strategic placement in GME Resources and entered a memorandum of understanding regarding the NiWest Nickel Laterite project in WA.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was real estate investment trusts adding 0.3 per cent to close at 1,092. The worst performing sector was financials excluding REITS, losing 1.8 per cent to close at 6,980 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Arrium Energy, rising 4 per cent to close at $0.39 recovering some of last week’s losses. Shares in Fairfax and Dominoes Pizza also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was ALS, dropping 17.22 per cent to close at $5.77. Shares in Resolute Mining and Beadell Resources also closed lower.
Urbanise.com Limited (ASX:UBN)
enjoyed a strong debut today after closing its IPO early when it was four times oversubscribed. The Cloud based software service provider listed with an issue price of $0.50, opened at $0.75 and and closed at $0.70.
Gold is trading at $US1,213 an ounce. Light crude is $0.66 down at $US92.41 a barrel. The Australian dollar is buying 89.07 US cents.