The Australian share market has closed slightly higher thanks to the release of the best national growth figures since September 2007.
The S&P/ASX 200 index gained 12 points to close at 4,055. On the futures market the SPI is 7 points higher.
GDP unexpectedly grew 1.3 per cent in the March quarter, seasonally adjusted according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Ten Network Holdings Limited (ASX:TEN) has announced plans for a $200 million capital raising to strengthen its balance sheet, refinance debt and invest in programming. The media company will offer existing shareholders three new shares for every eight held for 51 cents each, a 20 per cent discount to its last closing price of 64 cents per share. Ten has warned it doesn’t expect the advertising market to improve in the short-term. Chief executive James Warburton says Ten’s focus is now on renewing its content offering to build audience share and revenue. As mentioned, Ten Network shares last traded at $0.64.
Shares in Qantas Airways Limited (ASX:QAN) sunk to record lows during the trading day, the lowest since listing in 1995. Earlier this week the airline forecast its underlying profit will fall up to 90 per cent this financial year. The reason for the fall, according to the airline - Europe’s financial woes, rising fuel costs, a strong Australian dollar and the cost of industrial action. Qantas shares dropped 2.6 per cent, closing at $1.13.
AGL Energy Limited (ASX:AGK) raises $356 million under the institutional component of its $900 million capital raising.
OM Holdings Limited (ASX:OMH) is awarded $5.7 million in damages relating to process plant design defects for the Bootu Creek Manganese Mine.
DuluxGroup Limited (ASX:DLX) says it’s reviewed Alesco Corporation Limited’s (ASX:ALS) preliminary unaudited financial results and hasn’t changed its view that $2 a share is a compelling offer.
And BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP) chief Marius Kloppers says the miner needs to remain “flexible and pragmatic” when assessing major projects amid global uncertainty.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Real Estate Investment Trusts rising 18 points to close at 871. The worst performing sector was Industrials, losing 20 points to close at 3,319 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Intrepid Mines (ASX:IAU), rising 12.73 per cent to close at $0.62. Shares in Ramelius Resources (ASX:RMS) and Gryphon Minerals Limited (ASX:GRY) also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Bradken Limited (ASX:BKN), dropping 3.96 per cent to close at $5.34. Shares in Incitec Pivot (ASX:IPL) and Karoon Gas Australia (ASX:KAR) also closed lower.
Gold is trading at $US1,624 an ounce. Light crude is $0.55 up at $US84.84 a barrel.
The Australian dollar
The Australian dollar is buying 98.31 US cents.