After an early sell-off that nearly took it into technical correction territory, the Australian share market trimmed back some losses to close 0.63 per cent lower
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 33 points down to finish at 5,156.
The value of trades was $4.43 billion on volume of 788 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 Westfield Corporation (ASX:WFD)
On the futures market the SPI is 21 points down.
Horizon Oil Limited (ASX:HZN)
says it has struck oil for a second time the the Beibu Gulf offshore of China. Following a drilling program that detected an oil pay back in September, drilling results at a second exploration well have been completed and confirm another spudding well about 3.2km west southwest of last months discovery. An evaluation of the extent of the wells and how to best integrate them into the existing project will soon be underway. The programme is part of a joint venture with Roc Oil and Oil Australia with China National Offshore Oil Corporation taking a 51 per cent stake in the production and development phase of the Beibu Gulf project. Shares in Horizon Oil closed 1.82 per cent stronger at $0.28.
Finbar Group Limited (ASX:FRI)
has received development approval for its $60 million development project in Perth. ‘Linq’ apartments will comprise of 112 one and two bedroom apartments plus four ground floor shops at a prime inner city position in Northbridge. The development is close to the Perth Arena entertainment complex and the Harbourtown retail precinct as well as freeways and public transport. Construction is expected to comment in mid 2015 with first profits booked in the 2017 financial year. Shares in Finbar Group slid 1.46 per cent to $1.35.
Shares in WDS Limited (ASX:WDS)
tanked after the mining services provider released a shock profit downgrade and announced it is replacing its CEO.
High resolution imagery company Nearmap Limited (ASX:NEA)
says it is expanding into the lucrative US market and is launching a nationwide US urban capture program.
Ten Network Holdings Limited’s (ASX:TEN)
has partnered with Context Media to expand its branded content across a number of IT platforms to meet growing demand among marketers.
And SAI Global Limited (ASX:SAI)
has taken itself off the buying block and plans to initiate its own cost-cutting and restructuring program after failing to attract a compelling offer.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was materials adding 0.5 per cent to close at 8,941. The worst performing sector was industrials, losing 1.3 per cent to close at 3,857 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Fortescue, rising 6.13 per cent to close at $3.46. Shares in Resolute Mining and Liquefied Natural Gas also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Ten Network, dropping 7.32 per cent to close at $0.19. Shares in BC Iron and Southern Cross Media also closed lower.
Gold is trading at $US1,233 an ounce. Light crude is $0.05 up at $US85.82 a barrel. The Australian dollar is buying 87.31 US cents.