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News: Market Wrap: Aus shares down for second day



  1. The Australian share market dipped 0.25 per cent lower after banks took a hit as investors mulled the potential fall-out from Greece’s standoff over debts with the Eurozone. 
     
    The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 14 points down to finish at 5,801. 
     
    The value of trades was $4.43 billion on volume of 669 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX:TLS), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) and BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP)
     
    On the futures market the SPI is down 10 points.
     
    Economic news

    The ABS has reported that residential property prices increased by 1.9 per cent in the December quarter, up 6.8 per cent on the same period a year ago. Prices in Sydney rose 3.4 per cent for the quarter taking the yearly increase to 12.2 per cent. Brisbane was up 5.3 per cent while Melbourne up by 4.5 per cent. 
     
    Company news
     
    Mayne Pharma Group Limited (ASX:MYX) have announced a new acquisition and a capital raising. The drug developer has entered an agreement to buy the proven acne medicine Doryx from Actavis for around $64 million. The oral treatment has produced net revenues of $76 million in the 12 months to December and is expected to be immediately accretive. The deal will be funded by a fully underwritten $115 million equity raising with the company remaining in a trading halt until Wednesday. Shares in Mayne Pharma Group Limited (ASX:MYX) last traded at $0.70.
     
    Slater and Gordon Limited (ASX:SGH) produced a 37.6 per cent jump in first half revenue raising net profit by 46.5 per cent. The consumer law firm also raised its interim dividend by 17 per cent to 3.5 cents per share. Integration of new firms acquired last year is progressing well. The company also announced two new UK purchases expected to add an estimated $35 million to revenues and reaffirmed full year revenue guidance of $500 million. Shares in Slater and Gordon Limited (ASX:SGH) jumped 8.62 per cent to $7.18.
     
    Shopping Centres Australasia Property Group Limited (ASX:SCP) is reporting a 128 per cent jump in first half profit on the back of positive revaluations of the property portfolio and reduced vacancy rates. 
     
    Alumina Limited (ASX:AWC) has transitioned a Spanish alumina refinery from fuel oil to natural gas saving costs and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent.
     
    Bionic hearing implant maker Cochlear Limited (ASX:COH) reported an 18 per cent jump in total revenue to $438 million for the first six months of the 2015 trading year. 
     
    And Bradken Limited (ASX:BKN) reported a 64 per cent plunge in underlying profit for the first half as revenues dropped 12 per cent sending shares tumbling. 
     
    Best and worst performers

    The best performing sector was consumer discretionary adding 1 per cent to close at 1,909. The worst performing sector was energy, losing 0.8 per cent to close at 11,464 points.
     
    The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was the aforementioned Slater and Gordon. Shares in Tabcorp and Mesoblast also closed higher.
     
    The worst performing stock was Bradken, sliding 22.22 per cent to close at $2.45. Shares in BC Iron and Alumina also closed lower. 
     
    Commodities

    Gold is trading at $US1,244 an ounce. Light crude is $1.17 higher at $US52.86 a barrel. The Australian dollar is buying 78.2 US cents.

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