The Australian share market finished the day and week on a high note, advancing 1.5 per cent and recovering the week’s losses. Local equities lifted at open, following positive leads and comments from the European Central Bank’s chief claiming the bank will do whatever it takes to preserve the euro. Steady gains throughout the day were led by strength in the mining sector, with all sectors finishing the session higher.
The S&P/ASX 200 index advanced 62 points today, erasing the week’s losses to end 11 points stronger over the week at 4,210. On the futures market the SPI is 72 points higher.
Wall Street over four trading days this week: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 55 points, the S&P 500 Index lost 16 points, the Nasdaq lost 73 points and the 100 Index lost 71 points.
Takeover target Billabong International Limited (ASX:BBG) has granted its suitor, US private equity firm TPG Capital, the right to conduct non-exclusive due diligence. The surf wear retailer says it hopes due diligence will enable TPG to reduce the conditionality of its $695 million takeover offer. Shares in Billabong International closed steady at $1.35.
The $700 million takeover of cleaning and catering company Spotless Group Limited (ASX:SPT) from private equity fund Pacific Equity Partners has cleared its final hurdle, receiving the green light from the Supreme Court of Victoria. Shares in Spotless Group will cease trading on the Australian and New Zealand stock exchanges from today. Shares in Spotless Group firmed 0.38 per cent to close at $2.65 on its last day of trade.
Australia’s competition regulator has invited public submissions into Ten Network Holdings Limited’s (ASX:TEN) proposed $145 million sale of its outdoor advertising business Eye Corp.
Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board has given the green light to Glencore International’s proposed $6 billion takeover of grain handler Viterra (ASX:VTA), with the takeover now only requiring Chinese Government approval.
Best and worst performers
All sectors closed higher, led by Materials rising 171 points to close at 9,240.
The sector with the smallest gains was Utilities, adding 11 points to close at 5,088 points.
The best performing stock in the S&PASX 200 was Karoon Gas Australia Limited (ASX:KAR), rising 6.36 per cent to close at $3.68. Shares in OceanaGold Corporation (ASX:OGC) and Iluka Resources Limited (ASX:ILU) also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was GUD Holdings Limited (ASX:GUD), dropping 4.51 per cent to close at $8.46. Shares in Lynas Corporation Limited (ASX:LYC) and Intrepid Mines Limited (ASX:IAU) also closed lower.
Gold is trading at $US1,618 an ounce, after rising $36 over the week.
Light crude is up $0.42 at $US89.39 a barrel.
The Australian dollar
The Australian dollar is buying $US1.043, after rising $0.0048 over the week.