The Australian share market closed higher for the second straight session after global markets posted a positive end to last week. Local stocks rose almost 1 per cent at open but lost steam throughout the day, finishing 0.6 per cent higher supported by strength in the energy and mining sectors.
The S&P/ASX 200 index added 23 points to finish at 4,105. On the futures market, the SPI is now 23 points higher.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics has reported that total personal finance loans increased 0.4 per cent to $7.348 billion in May. Total commercial loans dropped 12 per cent, lease finance rose 3.2 per cent and housing finance for owner occupation added 0.2 per cent in May from April.
Shares in Whitehaven Coal Limited (ASX:WHC) jumped to the day’s best performer following Nathan Tinkler's takeover bid formally announced after the market closed on Friday. Mr Tinkler's $5.3 billion bid to take the mining company private consists of $5.20 per share, representing a 50 per cent premium to Whitehaven’s last closing price. Shares in Whitehaven Coal jumped 17.97 per cent today, closing at $4.07.
Patties Foods Limited (ASX:PFL) has forecast full year profit growth as it strives to offset challenging trading conditions with new product offerings. The pie maker believes its annual profit could grow up to 7 per cent to $19.7 million on the back of stronger sales from new contracts and growth in its branded products. However Patties did also warn its second half has seen pressure from the growth of private label products, highlighting the dominance of supermarket giants Wesfarmers Limited (ASX:WES) owned Coles and Woolworths Limited (ASX:WOW). Shares in Patties Foods lost 1.27 per cent, closing at $1.55.
Australian Agricultural Company Limited (ASX:AAC) has reportedly today inked a deal with traditional land owners in the Kimberley region to manage land in the region. The beef producer was also in the headlines today amid reports entrepreneur Dick Smith has bought a $1 million stake in the company.
Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC) says it will raise $500 million through the issue of subordinated notes that are being offered with an issue price of $100 each.
Media company Seven West Media Limited (ASX:SWM) has entered into a trading halt as it prepares to raise $440 million in new equity to lower debt amid subdued advertising sales.
The $6 billion takeover of dual-listed grain handler Viterra (ASX:VTA) from Glencore International has been given the green light from the Canadian government but is still awaiting Chinese government approval.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Energy, rising 144 points to close at 1,699.
The worst performing sector was Telco Services, losing 4 points to close at 1,310 points.
The best performing stock in the S&PASX 200 was Whitehaven Coal Limited (ASX:WHC), jumping 17.97 per cent today to close at $4.07. Shares in Intrepid Mines Limited (ASX:IAU) and Gryphon Minerals Limited (ASX:GRY) also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was AWE Limited (ASX:AWE), dropping 4.69 per cent to close at $1.32. Shares in Macquarie Atlas Roads Limited (ASX:MQA) and M2 Telecommunications Group Limited (ASX:MTU) also closed lower.
Gold is trading at $US1,589 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.31 lower at $US86.79 a barrel.
The Australian dollar
The Australian dollar is buying $US1.023.