Market Wrap: Aus shares close 2.07% higher

Market Reports

It has been a stellar session for the local share market, finishing the day 2.07 per cent higher, as a rally in Asian markets seemed to rub off onto Aussie investors. Japan’s share market in particular has led the bull-run and is on its way to its biggest one-day gain since the Global Financial Crisis. 
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed up 106 points to finish at 5,221. 
 
The value of trades was $6.8 billion on volume of 1.01 billion shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ), Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC)
 
On the futures market the SPI is up 125 points. 
 
Economic news

There has been a significant fall in consumer confidence for September, according to the latest data from the Westpac-Melbourne Institute. The consumer-sentiment index fell by 5.6 per cent this month to 93.9, compared to an increase to 99.5 in August. Meanwhile the number of home loans approved in July rose by just 0.3 percent, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. However, this figure fell short of economists’ expectations of a 0.7 per cent lift. 
 
Company news

3P Learning (ASX:3PL) has acquired a 23.07 per cent interest in Learnosity Holdings Limited in Ireland for US$19.4 million, with the potential to increase its investment to 40 per cent within 8 months.  The company says the investment allows it to rapidly develop product enhancements across 3P’s learning resources. Shares in 3P Learning closed down 5.56 per cent to $1.87. 
 
Armour Energy Limited (ASX:AJQ) has provided an update to the market on the hostile, unsolicited takeover bid for Armour by Westside Corporation. The board of Armour Energy has unanimously recommended that its shareholders reject the offer, describing the 12 cent per share bid as opportunistic and inadequate. Shares in Armour Energy closed up 4.35 per cent to 12 cents. 
 
Independence Group NL (ASX:IGO) has cut 28 jobs at its Long nickel mine in Kambalda as part of a number of changes to improve business conditions.
 
Vision Eye Institute Limited (ASX:VEI) has recommended Vision shareholders accept an off-market takeover bid by Jangho Group Corporation Limited. 
 
ASG Group Limited (ASX:ASZ) has inked new deals with the Victorian Department of Education and Training, worth up to $9 million.
 
Ridley Corporation Limited (ASX:RIC) has announced it’s set to construct and operate a new feed mill at Geelong.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Financials excluding REITs adding 3.53 per cent to close at 6,926. The worst performing sector was Utilities, losing 0.4 per cent to close at 6,528 points.
 
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Paladin Energy (ASX:PDN), rising 12.82 per cent to close at 22 cents. Shares in Whitehaven Coal and Henderson Group also closed higher.
 
The worst performing stock was Monadelphous (ASX:MND), dropping 6.33 per cent to close at $6.81. Shares in FlexiGroup and Village Roadshow also closed lower. 
 
IPOs

Knosys Limited (ASX:KNO) started trading today. The software development and licensing company listed with an issue price of 20 cents, opened at 22 cents and a closed at 23 cents.    

Commodities

Gold is trading at $US1,123 an ounce.
Light crude is down 11 cents at $US45.94 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying 70.54 US cents.