Australian Stock Market Report

This is the Australian stock market closing report for Tuesday, 31 May 2016

With US equity and futures exchanges closed overnight in observation of the Memorial Day holiday there were very few leads for the Australian stock market in today’s trading

Only two of the ASX 200 sectors closed in the green with the rest of the sectors all closing in the red

The ASX 200 benchmark closed lower by 29 points or 0.54% to 5378

The day’s trading range was 43 points with the high of the session at 5408 and the law of the session at 5365

Market breadth was slightly negative with 82 advancing stocks versus 97 declining stocks and 21 stocks unchanged

The weakest sector was the energy sector closing lower 1.45%

Woodside Petroleum led the components to the downside closing lower 2.4%, Oil Search closed down 1.3% and Origin Energy close lower 1.2%

The Consumer Staples sector wasn’t far behind closing to the downside 1.43%
Wesfarmers was the weakest component down 2.1%, Treasury Wine Estates was down 1.6% and Woolworths was lower 1.2%

The Telecommunication Services sector was down 1.19% with Telstra Corporation down 1.41%, Spark New Zealand down 0.9% and Vocus higher closing to the upside 0.5%

The material sector was relatively flat closing down negative a quarter of a percent. With BHP Billiton down $.16 or 0.83% to $19.08 and Rio Tinto was marginally lower down 8cents or 0.18% to $44.69

The big four banks weighed on the benchmark index all closing in the red
ANZ was down $.21 to $25.48, The Commonwealth Bank was down $.75 to $77.43, National Australia Bank was down $.10 to $27.15 and Westpac was lower $.18 to $30.70

In economic news the Australian Bureau of Statistics released three sets of economic data

The ABS indicated that the number of building approvals rose for the fifth consecutive month to 1.2% in April and that the value of residential building rose 1.6% while non-residential building was flat.

New home construction approvals rose 3% in April which exceeded market expectations of a 3% drop.

In the 12 months to April, building approvals were up 0.7%

In another report, according to the ABS the current account deficit for the March quarter decreased $1.8 billion to $20.8 billion.

The exports of goods and services fell 1% or $578 million and the imports of goods and services fell 4% or $3.4 billion

The surplus on goods and services rose by $4.7 billion which would add 1.1 percentage points in growth to March qtr. GDP

And lastly the ABS indicated in its Government finance statistics report for the March quarter

That general government spending rose 0.9% and public capital investment was up 0.7% with government capital investment expanding and public corporations investment contracting.

Government spending will add 0.2% percentage points to March quarter GDP

The five most active stocks were Medibank Private with the volume of 70.17 million, Iluka Resources with 50.29 million, Aurizon Holdings with 26.41 million, Alumina with 29.32 million and Telstra Corporation with a volume of 25.47 million shares changing hands.

The five best performers were Select Harvests up 6.7%, APN News and Media higher 4.55%, CYBG up 2.65%, Northern Star resources higher 2.6% and Liquefied Natural Gas up 2.6%

The five worst performers were Flexigroup down 6.8%, National Storage Real Estate Investment Trust down 4%, ALS down 2.9%, Programmed Maintenance lower 2.8% and Monadelphous Group down 2.6%

Australian dollar is currently higher trading at 72.30 US cents, the yield on the Australian 10 year government bond is down at 2.306%

Spot Gold is flat at $1212 USD

And Crude oil is marginally higher seven cents to $49.40

This has been the Australian stock market closing report for Tuesday, 31 May 2016 and I have been your host, Aaron Furst, I’ll see you again next time

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