(Australian Associated Press)
The Australian share market had a steady session despite Telstra shares falling to a five year low.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 0.01 per cent at 5,669.7 points,
Some calm returned to markets following the firing of a missile by North Korea over Japan earlier this week, and Wall Street in the US rose, but Telstra’s fall weighed on the local market.
CMC Markets chief market analyst Ric Spooner said markets in Asia were feeling a little less nervous given the muted response so far from the United States to North Korea’s latest action.
But company news negatively affected the Australian market.
“In particular, Telstra and other stocks went ex-dividend today” Mr Spooner said.
“Secondly, we had some generally negative news that NBNco won’t agree to Telstra’s plan to monetise its NBN income.”
Telstra shares dropped 24 cents, or 6.3 per cent, to $3.60, their lowest value since June 2012.
Telstra is trading ex-dividend, meaning new buyers of the stock will not receive the telco’s latest dividend, which is the last before it reduces its shareholder payouts.
It also said the company rolling out the national broadband network will not support Telstra’s plan to monetise the income that the telco gets from NBN compensation and access payments.
The major banks were mostly lower, with Commonwealth Bank off 0.5 per cent at $75.37, ANZ down 0.2 per cent at $29.06, National Australia Bank down 0.1 per cent at $30.06, while Westpac gained 0.1 per cent to $31.16.
Ramsay Health Care retreated $3.78, or 5.3 per cent, to $68.10 after the private hospitals operator reported full-year net profit growth of nine per cent but missed market expectations.
Building materials supplier Boral fell 20 cents, or 2.9 per cent, to $6.63 despite boosting its annual profit by 16 per cent to $297 million.
Among the miners, BHP Billiton picked up 0.3 per cent to $26.95, Rio Tinto added 0.1 per cent to $66.70, and Fortescue Metals eased 1.8 per cent to $5.87.
The Australian dollar was boosted by better-than-expected housing and construction data, trading at 79.67 US cents at 1630 AEST, up from 79.40 US cents on Tuesday.
ON THE ASX:
* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 was up 0.7 points, or 0.01 per cent, at 5,669.7 points at 1630 AEST.
* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 0.2 points at 5,733.8 points.
* The September SPI200 futures contract was up 17 points, or 0.3 per cent, at 5,649 points.
* National turnover was 2.8 billion securities traded worth $5.9 billion.
CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1700 AEST:
One Australian dollar buys:
* 79.66 US cents, from 79.40 US cents on Tuesday
* 87.68 Japanese yen, from 86.33 yen
* 66.63 euro cents, from 66.06 euro cents
* 61.70 British pence, from 61.27 pence
* 109.86 NZ cents, from 109.63 NZ cents
The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1700 AEST was $US1,307.68 per fine ounce, down from $US1,321.40 per fine ounce on Tuesday.
BOND SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEST:
* CGS 4.50 per cent April 2020, 1.9365pct, from 1.9003pct
* CGS 4.75pct April 2027, 2.6281pct, from 2.574pct
Sydney Futures Exchange prices:
* September 2017 10-year bond futures contract at 97.325 (implying a yield of 2.675pct), from 97.38 (2.62pct) on Tuesday
* September 2017 3-year bond futures contract at 97.98 (2.02pct), from 98.02 (1.98pct).
(*Bond market closes taken at 1630 AEST previous local session; currency closes taken from 1700 AEST previous local session)