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News: Market Wrap: ASX lower amid poor jobs data

  1. The Australian share market finished the day 0.44 per cent lower today on a mix of earnings results but also amid the release of some very weak jobs figures. The unemployment rate was shown to have grown to 6.4 per cent in January an increase of 0.3 per cent, the data makes a further cut in interests rates by the RBA far more likely and we saw the Aussie dollar lose value today in line with that expectation.
    The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 26 points down to finish at 5,744.
    The value of trades was $6.76 billion on volume of 996 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), CSL Limited (ASX:CSL) and Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX:TLS).
    On the futures marketthe SPI is 27 points down.
    Company news
    Shares in Santos Limited (ASX:STO) are down 1.5 per cent on news it will recognise an impairment charge of $1.6 billion in its 2014 full year results on the back of tumbling oil prices. The oil and gas producer says the non-cash accounting adjustment will reflect its long-term price forecast of oil at $US90 barrel and the Aussie dollar at $US0.80. Santos closed 1.56 per cent down at $7.59 
    Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX:TLS) has posted a record interim net profit of $2.1 billion for the first half of the 2015 financial year. Australia’s biggest telco boosted its result by 22 per cent on the back of growing mobile revenue in the six months to the end of December. Shares in Telstra closed 0.62 per cent down at $6.45 
    APN News and Media Limited (ASX:APN) has grown its profit in the 2014 calendar year on the back of higher revenues from radio and outdoor advertising.
    Mirvac Group (ASX:MGR) has improved its first half profit and affirmed its growth targets for the full 2015 financial year.
    ASX Limited (ASX:ASX) has reported first half profit growth on the back of strong revenue growth and outlined plans to invest in technology.
    Transurban Group (ASX:TCL) has made a loss in the first half on the back of its Queensland Motorways acquisition but it will still pay a dividend.

    Best and worst performers 

    The best performing sector was health care adding 1.7 per cent to close at 18,049. The worst performing sector was utilities, losing 1.3 per cent to close at 6,557 points.
    The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 wasLiquefied Natural Gas Limited (ASX:LNG), rising 8.11 per cent to close at $3.20. Shares in G8 Education Limited (ASX:GEM) and Arrium Limited (ASX:ARI) also closed higher.
    The worst performing stock was Horizon Oil Limited (ASX:HZN), dropping 12 per cent to close at $0.11. Shares in OZ Minerals Limited (ASX:OZL) and MMA Offshore Limited (ASX:MRM) also closed lower.

    US Residential Fund (ASX:USR) started trading today. The US property investor listed with an issue price of $1.00, opened at $1.03 and a closed at $0.95.  

    Gold is trading at $US1,221 an ounce.
    Light crude is $1.15 down at $US49.78 a barrel.
    The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7651

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