Australian stocks closed marginally weaker.
Here’s the scoreboard:
- S&P ASX 200: 5,346.20 -1.79 -0.03%
- All Ordinaries: 5,384.60 -1.68 -0.03%
- AUD/USD: 0.7237 -0.0012 -0.17%
Lower oil prices dragged down energy stocks and Wall Street, where the S&P 500 closed down 0.2%, was a weak lead for the rest of the market.
Seven out of the ten sectors gained ground. The banks were mostly flat but the big miners were weaker.
BHP lost 0.94% to $24.34 and Rio Tinto 1.86% to $52.81. Woodside was down 2.48% to $30.30 and Santos 1.25% to $6.34.
The top stories Tuesday:
1. Insurance business. Shares in NAB are in a trading halt amid reports it is about to sell a big piece of its life insurance business to Japan’s Nippon Life.
2. Trading blues. Commonwealth Bank is cutting 20 jobs from its global markets division as the bank adjusts to slower business.
3. Dividends from undies. Clothing group Pacific Brands, which started the 2016 financial year with good sales of its underwear and bedding, is on track to start paying dividends again.
4. An improved bid for Oil Search? Woodside Petroleum has clarified its position on its, so far unwelcome, $11.65 billion bid for Oil Search. Woodside was down 2.4% to 30.30. Oil Search lost 0.26% to $7.58.
5. The big IPO. Shares in the Link Group, the biggest float in Australia this year, jumped more than 11% on its first day of trading.
6. Content costs cut. Quickflix has negotiated with content suppliers to forgive some of the money owed for programming as it tries to restructure in the face of Netflix’s entry into the Australian market.
7. Accounting rules. Slater and Gordon is searching for a new chief financial officer following concerns over its accounting practices. Its shares closed down 1.7% to $2.83.
8. Bacon is booming. The Australian pork industry woke up to some tough headlines with the World Health Organisation linking processed meat, including everyone’s favourite – bacon – to cancer.