After weak leads the Australian share market opened lower but rose throughout the day, coming off session highs to finish almost where it started as investors remain cautious ahead of a European Central Bank (ECB) meeting this evening.
The S&P/ASX 200 index firmed 7 points to finish at 4,270. On the futures market the SPI is currently 2 points higher.
Hanlong Mining’s proposed $1.6 billion bid for iron ore miner Sundance Resources Limited (ASX:SDL) has been approved by the Chinese government. Sundance Resources says its still in talks with its suitor regarding a reasonable acquisition price. Shares in Sundance Resources last traded at $0.34.
Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX:FMG) has had its mining tax challenge adjourned for a month. The Pilbara focussed iron ore miner launched the challenge in June because it believes the Federal Government’s Minerals Resource Rent Tax (MRRT) contradicts the constitution by unfairly giving preference to one state over another and restricting the state’s ability to encourage mining. Shares in Fortescue Metals Group closed 5.3 per cent higher at $4.37.
Australia’s competition regulator has given News Corp’s (ASX:NWS, NASDAQ:NWSA) proposed $2 billion bid to acquire Consolidated Media Holdings Limited (ASX:CMJ) the green light.
Property developer Lend Lease Group (ASX:LLC) has inked an exclusive deal with casino operator Crown Limited (ASX:CWN) to develop a six star hotel resort at Barangaroo South in Sydney.
Metals producer Aquarius Platinum Limited (ASX:AQP) has been forced to shut down its Kwezi shaft in South Africa after an incident which resuted in three deaths and 20 injuries.
Cabcharge Australia Limited (ASX:CAB) says its expanding its local operations, announcing its inked a deal with a joint venture partner to buy a large regional bus company for $53 million.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Energy adding 183 points to close at 12,371.
The worst performing sector was Health Care, losing 164 points to close at 9,446 points.
The best performing stock in the S&PASX 200 was Intrepid Mines Limited (ASX:IAU), rising 27.59 per cent to close at $00.37. Shares in Coalspur Mines Limited (ASX:CPL) and Integra Mining Limited (ASX:IGR) also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Aquarius Platinum Limited (ASX:AQP), dropping 13.16 per cent to close at $0.49. Shares in Saracen Mineral Holdings Limited (ASX:SAR) and Fairfax Media Limited (ASX:FXJ) also closed lower.
Calibre Group Limited (ASX:CGH) started trading today. The mining services firm listed with an issue price of $1.63, opened at $1.625 and a closed at $1.50.
Gold is trading at $US1,602 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.13 down at $US88.78 a barrel.
The Australian dollar
The Australian dollar is buying $US1.048.