The Australian share market closed in the red today for the first time since last Wednesday as concerns of a US led invasion into Syria jittered investors around the globe and saw a slide in commodity prices during Asian trade.
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (Reuters)
The All Ordinaries Index (XAO) closed down 32.4pts or 0.6 per cent to 5156.5.
Importantly, the All Ordinaries Accumulation Index (XAOAI) is only 2.7 per cent off all-time highs reached in 2007. This is an index which measures share price and dividend returns, so is fast being seeing as a better indication of shareholder return.
In company news today, engineering firm Monadelphous Group (MND) won a $235 million construction contract for work on an iron ore port being built for Rio Tinto (RIO). The work is scheduled for completion in the final three months of calendar 2014. MND shares rose 3.6 per cent today to $19.91 while Rio Tinto (RIO) was up 0.8 per cent to $61.55.
Hills Holdings Limited (HIL), the maker of the iconic Hills Hoist clothesline, today announced it had sold one of its manufacturing businesses and bought into two healthcare businesses for a total cost of $33.5M. The new businesses are tipped to reap HIL $25M in revenue each year. HIL shares rose 6.2 per cent to $1.725 and are up 90 per cent this calendar year.
News Corp (NWS) fell 1.8 per cent to $17.50 after announcing it is selling 33 US publications to a group led by Fortress Investment.
Official data released today confirmed Australia's economy continued to grow, with GDP up 0.6 per cent in the June quarter for 2.6 per cent annual growth.
On the market today, a total of 1.6 billion shares changed hands, worth $4.7 billion. 472 were up, 442 were down and 328 were unchanged.
At 5pm AEST the SFE 200 Futures Index was at 5156, down 34 points.
Ahead tonight, the trade balance, total vehicle sales and the Fed Beige Book are released.
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