Australian shares have closed down today with the benchmark S&P ASX200 slipping 17 points, or 0.31%, to 5,384.7, though this is still up from the low of 5,357.4 points it reached in morning trade.
Investors sold off banking stocks, which are trading at record highs.
Financial stocks paced the rest of the market, with three of the four major banks in negative territory.
Westpac (ASX: WBC) shed $0.13, or 0.39%, to $32.87, Commonwealth Bank (ASX: CBA) was down $0.45, or 0.58%, to close at $77.34 and ANZ Bank (ASX: ANZ) slipped $0.18, or 0.56%, to $32.10.
National Australia Bank (ASX: NAB) climbed $0.06, or 0.18%, to $34.36.
Second tier banks were mixed with Suncorp (ASX: SUN) dropping $0.06, or 0.45%, to $13.30, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank (ASX: BEN) unchanged at $11.09 and Bank of Queensland (ASX: BOQ) jumping up $0.30, or 2.45%, to $12.55.
Investment bank Macquarie Group (ASX: MQG) shed $0.93, or 1.71%, to $53.62.
Yield-play Telstra (ASX: TLS) dipped $0.02, or 0.39%, to $5.15 while Woolworths (ASX: WOW) gained $0.14, or 0.41%, to $34.10.
The Materials index was unchanged today with the major miners making gains for most part.
BHP Billiton (ASX: BHP) gained $0.06, or 0.16%, to $37.95, Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO) was up $0.14, or 0.21%, to close at $65.65 and Fortescue Metals Group (ASX: FMG) rose $0.05, or 0.86%, to $5.89.
Newcrest (ASX: NCM) tumbled $0.36, or 3.75%, to $9.24.
Juniors and Mid-Caps
Condor Blanco Mines (ASX: CDB) gained 11.11% to $0.01 on its announcing a Scoping Study that found its Marianas Iron Tailings Project in northern Chile could become a low cost producer of high quality iron ore products when developed.
In addition, the processing of tailings is likely to be fairly simple and could generate significant cash flows.
The company also signed an option to increase its ownership to 100% (from 50%) through the payment of US$2 million, which should enable a faster development timetable and cash flow generation path.
MacPhersons Resources (ASX: MRP) is up 5% to $0.21 after intersected new silver rich zinc stringer zone mineralisation from deep drilling at its wholly-owned Nimbus Silver-Zinc-Gold Project in Western Australia.
This provides a potential new deeper prospective zone for exploration across the Eastern Goldfields district with handheld XRF analyses returning spot measurements of up to 1,500 grams per tonne silver and 20% zinc.
Syrah Resources (ASX: SYR) rose 1.19% to $2.56 after releasing a Scoping Study highlighting a relatively low development cost of US$91.6 million and a payback period of less than 6 months for its Balama West graphite project in Mozambique.
Other notable points include average mine gate cost of production at US$101.58 per tonne and FOB Port of Pemba cost at US$198.01 per tonne that points to a hefty profit margin even at the company’s conservative US$1,500 a tonne selling price.
Confirming an extension of the hypogene zone at its Kitumba project in Zambia was a positive for Blackthorn Resources (ASX: BTR) with its shares rising 2.33% to $0.22.
The company has also started work on optimisation of its September 2013 Pre-Feasibility Study that should enhance project returns.
Asian stocks were mostly up through the Nikkei closed down 0.25% to 15,128.62 points on the yen making gains against the U.S. dollar.
The Hang Seng Index is up 2.68% to 23,649.19 points while the Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index is up 1.86% to 2,175.49 points.
Proactive Investors Australia is the market leader in producing news, articles and research reports on ASX “Small and Mid-cap” stocks with distribution in Australia, UK, North America and Hong Kong / China.