The ASX Has Hit A Weak Patch After A Stormy Week

Getty/ Brendon Thorne

The Australian market was down again today, mirroring the weak close on Wall Street on Friday.

The S&P/ASX 200 closed down 12.97 points or 0.23% to 5,543.40.

On Friday the Nasdaq lost 0.4% to 4,352.6 and the S&P 500 0.3% to 1,925.2.

In Australia today, Crown Resorts, announcing a fresh play to build a casino in Las Vegas, was down almost 1% to $15.85 at close.

Resmed was up 0.86% to $5.275 and Downer EDI up 0.64% to $4.75.

Among the banks, ANZ slipped 0.715% to $33.32, CBA 0.21% to $82.65, Westpac 0.73% to $33.8, and NAB 0.487% to $34.76.

Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets, says the Australian share market steadied today after a stormy finish last week.

The property sector gained the most as the newly created Scentre Group appeared to benefit from institutional re-weighting into its shares. The potential for further deals and possible acquisitions has investors cautious about selling in the sector. Scentre closed up 1.95% to $3.395.

Consumer staples stocks also traded firmly, as traders mulled speculative reports of possible expansion into the financial sector by Wesfarmers via its Coles holdings. Wesfarmers closed up 0.21% at $43.41.

Explorer and producer Roc Oil traded to four year highs on news that it spurned Horizon’s attempted “merger of equals” in favour of an all cash bid at 69 cents per share from China’s Fosun International. At close it was up 7.46% to $0.677.

Also in takeover news, Treasury Wine Estates announced a second bid from KKR, increased to $5.20 from $4.70.

Late in the session came news that Portugal will inject 4.4 billion Euros into the troubled Banco Espirito Santo. The bank will be split in two, with toxic assets ring fenced from retail investor funds.

However, the news did little to lift local banking sentiment.

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