Despite a disappointing start to the session the local share market managed to turn thing around in afternoon trade and ended up closing the day 0.42 per cent higher. Despite being weighed down by the materials sector after commodity prices plunged over night, the index was buoyed by investors buying up the big four banks, with CBA jumping almost 3 per cent at the close.
The ASX closed 22 points higher to 5,343.
The value of trades was $6.8 billion on volume of 908 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA)
, Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC)
and National Australia Bank Limited (ASX:NAB)
On the futures market the SPI is up 23 points.
Lithium Australia (ASX:LIT)
says a number of Western Australian graphite assets acquired by the company are to be divested. The company says the returns are intended to be distributed directly to Lithium Australia Shareholders. The decision follows strategic asset build up by the company in recent years of key high demand materials for emerging battery technologies. Shares in Lithium Australia closed 3.45 per cent higher at $0.30.
Incitec Pivot Limited (ASX:IPL)
has reported a nearly 80 percent fall in net profit to $31.5 million for the half year to 31 March 2016.
Mesoblast Limited (ASX:MSB)
has recorded a small slip in revenue to US$4.1 million for the third quarter of 2016, compared with $4.2 million a year earlier.
Orion Health (ASX:OHE)
has surpassed 100 million patient health records, marking a new milestone for the global healthcare platform.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Financials excluding REITS adding 1.5 per cent to close at 6,766. The worst performing sector was Energy, losing 2.3 per cent to close at 7,835 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Incitec Pivot, rising 9.09 per cent to close at $3.12. Shares in Mayne Pharma and Macquarie Group also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Sims Metal, dropping 10.11 per cent to close at $8.45. Shares in Bluescope and Greencross also closed lower.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,266 an ounce.
Light crude is $1.22 lower at $US43.44 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7323.