The Australian share market has ended the day 0.4% higher recovering slightly from the week’s losses, following news that China’s economy has expanded in the second quarter of this year.
Today, the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 14 points up at 4,082 which is 76 points lower over the week. On the futures market, the SPI is currently 10 points higher.
Looking at Wall Street, over the week: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 323 points. The S&P 500 Index was down 33 points, the Nasdaq lost 110 points and the 100 Index shed102 points.
China, the world’s second largest economy, has grown at a pace in line with expectations, albeit at the slowest rate in three years. China’s National Bureau of Statistics has today reported its economy grew at 7.6 per cent in the second quarter of this year compared to the year before, dropping from 8.1 per cent in the first quarter of this year.
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX:ANZ) has kept its home loan rates on hold following the RBA’s decision to keep cash rates unchanged in July. Its variable interest home loan rate will remain at 6.8 per cent. ANZ’s chief says rates will remain unchanged due to uncertainty in the global economy and with household budgets. ANZ’s decision comes after its monthly interest rate review was held today. Shares in ANZ closed 0.77 per cent up at $22.35.
Origin Energy Limited (ASX:ORG) says bad weather conditions have caused another cost blowout as well as further delays at its BassGas project in Victoria. About $30 million is estimated in additional funds to develop phase one of the expansion, which involves adding extra compression capacity as well as on-platform accommodation for workers. The announcement comes after Origin warned in April costs had risen to $460 million from $360 million. Shares in Origin closed 0.08 per cent down at $12.01.
Specialty Fashion Group Limited (ASX:SFH) has revealed it expects its annual earnings to halve in the 2012 financial year, with revenue coming in flat at $573 million.
Paintmaker DuluxGroup Limited (ASX:DLX) has extended its offer for Alesco Corporation Limited (ASX:ALS) by two weeks to August 3, after the building products supplier showed strong support for the bid over the last two weeks. The paintmaker says it has secured almost 30 per cent in the company.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Utilities adding 53 points to close at 4,886.
The worst performing sector was Telco Services, losing 4 points to close at 1,313.
The best performing stock in the S&PASX 200 was Integra Mining Limited (ASX:IGR) rising 14.04 per cent to close at $0.33. Shares in Mirabela Nickel Limited (ASX:MBN) and Arrium Limited (ASX:ARI) also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Pacific Brands Limited (ASX:PBG) dropping 5.26 per cent to close at $0.45. Shares in NRW Holdings and Boart Longyear also closed lower.
Gold is trading at $US1,570 an ounce. Which is $13.70 lower over the week.
Light crude is $0.06 down at $US86.02 a barrel.
The Australian dollar
The Australian dollar is buying $US1.016 which is $0.005 lower over the week.