Despite a positive start, the Australian share market ended the trading day on the red, dragged down by a fall in Westpac's (WBC) share price and weakness from the energy and industrial sectors. The All Ordinaries Index (XAO) finished the day's trade at 5384pts, down 22.3pts or 0.4 per cent.
A number of Chinese companies including Alibaba Group are looking to list in Hong Kong. (Reuters)
Westpac shares ended the day's session down 1.2 per cent to $34.16 despite reporting a record $7.1 billion full year profit and forecasting stronger consumer confidence to help build on 2014's result. The cash profit was slightly above expectations, with WBC also announcing a final dividend of 88c per share. Shareholders will also receive a 10c per share special dividend.
Elsewhere, Coca-Cola Amatil's (CCL) share price dove, after the beverage maker reported a profit warning. CCL said profit would fall this year due to weak consumer demand and aggressive discounting by competitors. CCL shares closed down 4.7 per cent to $12.28.
In economic news today, retail trade rose by 0.8 per cent in September, well above market forecasts. Adjusting for inflation, retail trade rose by 0.7 per cent in the September quarter.
The TD Securities-Melbourne Institute monthly inflation gauge rose by just 0.1 per cent in October to stand 2.1 per cent higher than a year ago. The annual underlying measures were 2.2 per cent and 1.7 per cent.
Job advertisements fell by 0.1 per cent in October to be down 11.6 per cent on a year ago.
The ABS measure of home prices rose by 1.9 per cent in the September quarter.
On the market overall, a total of 2.14 billion shares changed hands, worth $4.1 billion. 401 were up, 583 were down and 348 were unchanged.
At 5pm AEDT the SFE 200 Futures Index was at 5380, down 10 points.
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