Market Wrap: Aus shares close 0.56% higher

Market Reports

It was a positive start to the trading week for the local share market today, despite a sell-off in US equities on Friday. It looked like things weren’t going to go too well when the local bourse plunged at the open, but buying in the financials and healthcare spaces managed to keep the market’s head above water, closing the day 0.56 per cent higher. Not a good trading session however for the energy space, it was the worst performer with losses across the board, particularly in Santos. 
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 30 points up to finish at 5,359. 
 
The value of trades was $4.1 billion on volume of 608 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), National Australia Bank Limited (ASX:NAB) and Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC)
 
On the futures market the SPI is up 21 points.

Company news

National Storage REIT (ASX:NSR) has entered into arrangements to acquire two self storage assets in Wellington, New Zealand, bringing the number of storage centres to 100. The company says both centres are located with prominent main road exposure to passing traffic and few competitors in close proximity. Shares in National Storage closed 0.52 per cent lower at $1.91. 
 
Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited (ASX:FSF) has confirmed it will pay part of its forecast final dividend earlier, to support farmers with tight on-farm cash flows.
 
Asciano Limited (ASX:AIO) has announced it has been served with a Supreme Court summons in relation to proceedings regarding its interest in ACFS Logistics Pty Ltd.
 
Austal Limited (ASX:ASB) has announced its Littoral Combat Ship 8, the future USS Montgomery, has successfully completed U.S Navy acceptance trials. 
 
Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Healthcare adding 2 per cent to close at 21,299. The worst performing sector was Energy, losing 0.5 per cent to close at 8,010 points.
 
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Saracen Minerals, rising 6.22 per cent to close at $1.28. Shares in Primary Health and Sonic Health also closed higher.
 
The worst performing stock was Western Areas, dropping 5.29 per cent to close at $1.97. Shares in Blackmores and Corporate Travel also closed lower. 
 
IPOs

Redbubble Limited (ASX:RBL) started trading today. The online marketplace for print on demand products floated with an issue price of $1.33, opened at $1.50 and a closed at $1.455.    
 
Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,280 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.28 lower at $US46.90 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7789.