The share market has posted its first fall for the week as selling in the financial and property sectors outweighed gains by energy producers, miners and retailers.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 stock index dropped 0.25 per cent to 6,060.4 points.
Phillip Capital Senior client adviser Michael Heffernan said stronger commodity prices, including oil and most base metals, supported the energy and mining companies.
“It isn’t a big drop (for the market) and there have been some good rises including among the consumer stocks with Ardent Leisure, Retail Food Group and Domino’s going up,” he said.
“The US tax cuts have had a beneficial effect on some of our US exposed stocks: Bluescope, Ansell and Computershare.”
The US House of Representatives followed the Senate in approving a long-anticipated tax overhaul, which includes a cut in the company tax rate to 21 per cent from 35 per cent from January 1, which could boost company earnings and pave the way for higher dividends and stock buybacks.
BlueScope Steel raised its forecast for first-half underlying earnings and flagged gains from the US tax cut, and its shares rose 62 cents, or 4.3 per cent, to $15.10.
Ansell and Computershare both expect one-off benefits from changes to deferred tax liabilities, but their shares moved in opposite directions.
Ansell dropped 0.2 per cent to $25.07 and Computershare gained 0.8 per cent to $16.89.
In the energy sector, Santos gained 3.3 per cent, Origin Energy added 2.2 per cent and Woodside Petroleum was 0.8 per cent higher.
BHP Billiton gained 1.4 per cent and Rio Tinto was up one per cent.
Falls by the big four banks ranged from ANZ’s 0.6 per cent drop to Commonwealth Bank’s 0.9 per cent fall.
Property developer Mirvac dropped two per cent to $2.41, Westfield shopping centre owner Scentre Group fell 1.9 per cent to $4.21 and Telstra shed 0.3 per cent to $3.65.
Retail Food Group jumped 32 per cent to $2.15, but its shares are still 51 per cent lower than what they were less than a fortnight ago, amid reports of franchisees unhappy with the company’s business model, and its recent forecast of a fall in half year profit.
Domino’s Pizza gained 2.1 per cent to $45.60 and theme park operator Ardent Leisure gained 3.4 per cent to $2.00 following its announcement on Wednesday of the sale of its Australian bowling alleys and arcades.
ON THE ASX:
* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 was down 15.2 points, or 0.25 per cent, at 6,060.4 points.
* The broader All Ordinaries index was down 11.6 points, or 0.19 per cent, at 6,156.3 points.
* The SPI200 futures contract was down 25 points, or 0.41 per cent, at 6,012 points.
* National turnover was 3.3 billion securities traded worth $8.3 billion.
CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1700 AEDT:
One Australian dollar buys:
* 76.60 US cents, from 76.61 US cents on Wednesday
* 86.86 Japanese yen, from 86.54 yen
* 64.54 euro cents, from 64.67 euro cents
* 57.32 British pence, from 57.21 pence
* 109.37 NZ cents, from 110.08 cents
The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1700 AEDT was $US1,265.93 per fine ounce, from $US1,263.37 per fine ounce on Wednesday.
BOND SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEDT:
* CGS 4.50 per cent April 2020, 2.0482pct, from 2.0293pct
* CGS 4.75pct April 2027, 2.6425pct, from 2.6092pct
Sydney Futures Exchange prices:
* March 2018 10-year bond futures contract at 97.305 (implying a yield of 2.695pct), from 97.335 (2.665pct) on Wednesday
* March 2018 3-year bond futures contract at 97.83 (2.17pct), from 97.845 (2.155pct).
(*Bond market closes taken at 1630 AEDT previous local session; currency closes taken from 1700 AEDT previous local session)