ASX falls 0.4%, property trusts & miners weigh: Aus shares down 0.8% over the week

The Australian sharemarket snapped its 3-day winning streak and finished the day 0.4 per cent or 28 points lower at 7,343. After a weak start on Monday, the local bourse lifted throughout the week but fell back into negative territory today as miners, tech and real estate stocks weighed on the index. Over the week, it lost 0.8 per cent or 61 points.

Most sectors finished in the red with real estate as the worst performer, closing 2.2 per cent lower. Materials and health care added to the losses, closing 1.3 and 1.1 per cent lower. Energy was the dominating sector, closing 1.4 per cent higher, while financials and consumer staples were the only other sectors that made gains. 

The best-performing stock was Computershare (ASX:CPU), closing 5.7 per cent higher, while the worst-performing stock was Ramelius Resources (ASX:RMS), closing 6.1 per cent lower.

Iron ore prices were flat, leaving BHP (ASX:BHP) to close 1.8 per cent lower and Fortescue Metals (ASX:FFMG) 1.3 per cent lower. Meanwhile Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) closed 0.4 per cent higher. Gold stocks also fell. Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) closed 2.3 per cent lower, Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) closed 4 per cent lower and Perseus Mining (ASX:PRU) closed 5.4 per cent lower. 

Health stocks weighed on the index as ear specialist Cochlear (ASX:COH) closed 4.9 per cent lower, after announcing a US infringement complaint. Sonic Healthcare (ASX:SHL) closed 2.3 per cent lower, Fisher and Paykel (ASX:FPH) closed 2.4 per cent lower and CSL (ASX:CSL) closed 0.3 per cent lower. 

Energy stocks rallied as oil prices rose. Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) closed 1.9 per cent and paid a dividend today. Santos (ASX:STO) and Oil Search (ASX:OSH) closed 2 and 1.5 per cent higher. 

In headlines, Centuria Industrial REIT (ASX:CPI) closed 2.5 per cent lower, following its $300 million capital raising to fund 8 industrial assets. 

Company news

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Centuria Industrial REIT (ASX:CIP) has raised $300 million through an institutional placement announced yesterday to acquire 8 freehold urban infill industrial assets for a total of $351.3 million.

Westpac (ASX:WBC) welcomes Catherine McGrath from Barclays Bank as chief executive officer (CEO) for Westpac, New Zealand.

Ear specialist Cochlear (ASX:COH) has received a complaint about a patent infringement that was filed by the University of Pittsburgh, in the US District Court for the Western District of Texas, Waco division.

Digital banking and payments provider Novatti (ASX:NOV) has expanded its partnership with Ripple by launching RippleNet in Siam Commercial Bank, Thailand.

Futures

The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a fall of 10 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a fall of 2 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a fall of 25 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 42 points when the market next opens.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Energy, up 1.4 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Real Estate Investment Trusts, down 2.2 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Computershare (ASX:CPU), closing 5.7 per cent higher at $17.90. It was followed by shares in Premier Investments (ASX:PMV) and Washington H. Soul Pattinson (ASX:SOL).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Ramelius Resources (ASX:RMS), closing 6.1 per cent lower at $1.31. It was followed by shares in Centuria Industrial REIT (ASX:CIP) and Perseus Mining (ASX:PRU).

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has gained 2.1 per cent.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has gained 0.04 per cent.
China’s Shanghai Composite has lost 0.4 per cent.

Wall Street

Over the last four trading days, the Dow Jones gained 0.5 per cent, the S&P 500 gained 0.4 per cent and the Nasdaq gained 0.1 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1755.63 an ounce.
Iron ore is flat at US$108.67 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 3.6 per cent.
Light crude is trading $0.08 higher at US$73.38 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 72.97 US cents.