Market Wrap: Aus shares close 0.15% higher

Market Reports

After a quiet session on Wall Street our local share market followed suit today, struggling for any kind of momentum and closing the day just 0.15 per cent higher. It was the financials space that managed to keep the market’s head above water; with small gains in all of the big four banks. Not such a good day for the materials and energy sectors though with losses in the big miners BHP and Rio Tinto, as well as Santos and Woodside. 
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 8 points higher to finish at 5,119. 
 
The value of trades was $4.9 billion on volume of 816 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP), Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC) and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA)
 
On the futures market the SPI is up 18 points.

Company news
 
 Anteo Diagnostics Limited (ASX:ADO) has announced that Chief Executive Officer Dr Geoff Cumming has advised his intention to retire and appoints Dr Jef Vangenechten as its Global Chief Executive Officer. Dr Vangenechten is a veteran of the biotechnology industry in Europe and will be based in Brussels. He will take up the role formally in June. Shares in Anteo Diagnostics closed 11.32 per cent lower at $0.047. 
 
Tabcorp Holdings Limited (ASX:TAH) has said it will fully cooperate with an investigation by the Australian Federal Police in relation to a payment concerning a Cambodian business opportunity.
 
Australian Dairy Farms Group (ASX:AHF) says its confident the acquisition of Camperdown Dairy Company will complete, despite a delay in the process.
 
Yowie Group Limited (ASX:YOW) has launched a social media advertising campaign in the US market ahead of the peak Easter season.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Financials excluding REITs adding 0.6 per cent to close at 6,686. The worst performing sector was Staples, losing 0.7 per cent to close at 8,423 points.
 
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Whitehaven Coal, rising 10.22 per cent to close at $0.76. Shares in Mayne Pharmaceuticals and Liquefied Natural Gas also closed higher.
 
The worst performing stock was IOOF Holdings, dropping 5.32 per cent to close at $8.36. Shares in Seven Group Holdings and Fortescue Metals also closed lower. 
 
Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,233 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.76 lower at $US38.08 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7458.