The Australian share market has ended the day 0.9 % higher after it advanced 45 points in early trade and remained in positive territory led up by financials and on hopes for further monetary stimulus in Europe and the US.
Today, the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 36 points up to finish at 4,246. On the futures market, the SPI is currently 34 points higher.
New home sales have risen in June due to a spike in multi-unit sales. According to the Housing Industry Association’s survey of Australia’s largest volume builders, home sales rose 2.8 per cent for the month. Detached house sales grew slightly by 0.7 per cent following a 2.0 per cent descent in May.
Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX:TLS) has announced another major appointment today. According to media reports John Allan will take on the role as Managing Director of Telstra’s Sensis business, replacing Bruce Akhurst. Mr Allan joins the company as a former Chief Executive of TrueLocal.com.au and was also the Chief Operating Officer of The Australian. Mr Allan will ensure Sensis delivers its digital strategy. Shares in Telstra closed 0.51 per cent up at $3.98.
Fresh doubts have emerged over BHP Billiton Limited’s (ASX:BHP) planned expansion of its $US30 billion Olympic Dam copper and uranium mine in South Australia. The global miner is due to make a decision on expanding the project by the end of this year but reports have emerged claiming it will not receive board approval in time. Shares in BHP closed 0.67 per cent up at $31.63.
Westfield Group (ASX:WDC) is reportedly planning to invest an extra $4.5 billion into major British shopping centres in the coming years.
Coalspur Mines Limited (ASX:CPL,TSX:CPT) says a positive scoping study has confirmed the potential for an underground mine at its wholly owned Vista Extension property in North America.
Ivanhoe Australia Limited (ASX:IVA) has secured a working capital facility of up to $US50 million. The mineral developer’s majority shareholder, Ivanhoe Mines Limited (NYSE:IVN, TSE:IVN) will support the company by providing the secured twelve month working capital facility.
Shares in Northern Iron Limited (ASX:NFE) have risen over 10 per cent today after Swiss-based Prominvest launched a $525 million takeover bid for the iron ore miner which has topped an earlier bid made from an Indian conglomerate. Prominvest’s offer of $1.42 cash per share is conditional on due diligence, management meetings and site visits.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Financials excluding Real Estate Investment Trusts adding 67 points to close at 5,025.
Only one sector was marginally down today, and that was Energy which lost 1 point to close at 12,059 points.
The best performing stock in the S&PASX 200 was Iluka Resources Limited(ASX:ILU) rising 9.2 per cent to close at $9.50. Shares in Coalspur Mines and Aquila Resources also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Ramelius Resources Limited (ASX:RMS) dropping 11.4 per cent to close at $0.51. Shares in Linc Energy and Intrepid Mines also closed lower.
Gold is trading at $US1,619 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.43 up at $US90.56 a barrel.
The Australian dollar
The Australian dollar is buying $US1.047