News: Market Wrap: Aus shares drop

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    The Australian share market has ended the day more than one per cent lower, after the local market’s relative outperformance yesterday, we’re seeing it underperform today.

    The S&P/ASX200 Index closed 53 points weaker at 4,251. On the futures market, the SPI is 54 points lower.

    Economic news

    The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports, in original terms imports rose seven per cent to $19.71 billion. On a balance of payments basis they increased by one per cent.

    And, average weekly earnings rose 1.2 per cent in the three months to May.

    Company news

    Wesfarmers Limited (ASX:WES) has posted a lift in profits despite difficult conditions because of natural disasters and poor consumer confidence. Annual net profit rose 23 per cent to $1.9 billion for the 12 months to June 30. The company will pay a final fully franked dividend of 85 cents, up from 70 cents previously, taking the full year pay out to $1.50. Wesfarmers shares ended the day 0.36 per cent higher at $30.41.

    AMP Limited (ASX:AMP) says global economic uncertainty will keep investment markets volatile for some time to come. The company posting an 18 per cent fall in net profit for the six months to June 30, compared with the corresponding period. The company will pay an interim dividend of 15 cents, 4.5 cents franked. AMP shares closed 2.65 per cent stronger today at $4.26.

    Foster's Group Limited (ASX:FGL) recommends shareholders reject SABMiller’s $9.5 billion hostile bid. The brewer says the offer price significantly undervalues the company.

    ASX Limited (ASX:ASX) posts a slight lift in annual profits, with net profit for the full year to June 30 of $352 million.

    Redcape Property Group (ASX:RPF) signs an agreement for a $278 million recapitalisation plan backed by three of the world’s largest investors.

    And Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RIO) is resuming normal operations at two mines in the Pilbara. They had been shut this week in response to a worker fatality.

    Best and worst performers

    The best performing sector was Consumer Staples, the index rising 2 points to close at 7,597. The worst performing sector was Energy, falling 372 points to close at 13,521.

    The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX200 was Adelaide Brighton Limited shares gained 3.91 per cent to close at $2.66. Shares in Sigma Pharmaceuticals Limited and AMP Limited also gained today.

    The worst performing stock was APN News and Media Limited, shedding 12.36 per cent to close at $0.78. Shares in Karoon Gas Australia Limited and Lynas Corporation Limited also fell today.


    Gold is trading at $US1,795 an ounce and Light crude is down 46 cents to $US87.12 a barrel.



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