Following positive leads the Australian share market surged at the open and continued this positive trend throughout the day's trade closing 1.3 per cent up.
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 53 points up to finish at 4,109. On the futures market, the SPI is currently 56 points up.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics today reported a rise of 38,900 jobs in May. The unemployment rate rose for last month to 5.1 per cent, in line with expectations.
The Australian Industry Group and Housing Industry Association reports the performance of construction index has contracted for 24th consecutive month. Weak commercial activity has caused the PCI to drop 0.2 points to 34.7 in May.
Santos Limited (ASX:STO) have agreed a possible $520 million deal with ConocoPhillips, to sell a minority stake in the Caldita and Barossa gas discoveries offshore. The deal sees SK E&S, an unlisted gas unit of South Korea's SK Group, purchasing a 37.5 per cent stake in the two fields in the Timor Sea, with an option to buy an additional 12 per cent interest following the drilling of three appraisal wells. Shares in Santos closed 1.96 per cent up at $11.97.
Brambles Limited (ASX:BXB) sluggishly resumed trading today following a trading halt this week, having raised $333 million through its shares offer to institutional investors. The figure falls short of the $448 million the company announced it would seek through capital raising earlier this week. The handling and storage logistics company will open an entitlement offer to retail shareholders on Friday, which could see the company raise the additional $115 million. Shares in Brambles closed 4.95 per cent down at $6.42.
Bank of Queensland Limited (ASX:BOQ) has announced it will commence a $1 billion buy back of its senior unsecured notes. The notes, issued in May 2000, were due to mature in October before being amended in November 2005. The offer will expire on June 14.
Aurora Oil & Gas Limited (ASX:AUT) will join the S&P/ASX 100 index on market value from June 15. Aurora's executive chairman Jonathan Stewart says the inclusion in the index 'reflects the successful transition from exploration success to a rapidly growing international oil and gas producer.'
Panoramic Resources Limited (ASX:PAN) has acquired more than 90 per cent of mineral explorer Magma Metals Limited (ASX:MMW). The off-market bid sees Magma shareholders receive two Panoramic shares for every 17 Magma shares.
Fairfax Media Limited (ASX:FXJ) received a proposal yesterday by journalist union, Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance, to create a centralised subbing pool in Newcastle and Wollongong, in a bid to stop the outsourcing of production jobs to New Zealand.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Financials, excluding Real Estate Investment Trusts, adding 81 points to close at 4,592.
The worst performing sector and the only major sector to close lower was Utilities, losing 7 points to close at 4,933 points.
The best performing stock in the S&PASX 200 was Dart Energy Ltd (ASX:DTE), rising 8.11 per cent to close at $0.20. Shares in Aquarius Platinum Limited (ASX:AQP) and Charter Hall Group (ASX:CHC) also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Energy World Corporation Ltd (ASX:EWC), dropping 9.88 per cent to close at $0.36. Shares in BlueScope Steel Limited (ASX:BSL) and Ramelius Resources Limited (ASX:RMS) also closed lower.
Gold is trading at $US1,621 an ounce. Light crude is $0.43 up at $US85.45 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.9948.