Market Wrap: Aus shares close 0.29% higher

Market Reports

by David Chau

It was a volatile trading day for the Australian stock market.  Despite a strong open, the local index alternated between plunging into the red, then recovering into positive territory throughout the day.  The stock market managed to finish the day 0.29% higher.  Again, the Energy sector is leading the charge.
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 16 points higher to finish at 5,388. 
 
The value of trades was $5 billion on volume of 705 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX:WES), BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP) and ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ).
 
On the futures market the SPI is 26 points higher.
 
To company news: Sky City Entertainment Group Limited (ASX:SKC) has contracted with the South Australian government to begin early works as part of the Adelaide Casino expansion, and broader development of the Adelaide riverbank precinct.  Both parties will share the costs of this project, which is expected to commence in the second half of this year.
 
Shares in Sky City closed 1.14 per cent lower at $4.34. 
 
Looking at some more headlines: 
 
The ACCC has delayed its decision on whether to allow the $9 billion Asciano Limited (ASX:AIO) takeover to go ahead.  The ACCC will be accepting industry submissions until 10 June.
 
Telstra Limited (ASX:TLS) will contest a petition in the Cayman Island courts, arising out of it acquiring $2.1 billion worth of shares in Chinese online business, Autohome.
 
Decmil Group Limited (ASX:DCG) has been awarded a contract, valued at around $16 million, to design and construct a new primary school in Auckland, New Zealand.
 
To the best and worst performers of the day: The best performing sector was Energy, for the second day in a row, adding 2 per cent to close at 8,298. The worst performing sector was Staples, adding 2.1 per cent to close at 8,470 points.
 
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Programmed Maintenance Services, rising 17.65 per cent to close at $1.90. Shares in Whitehaven Coal and Iluka Resources were also stronger.
 
The worst performing stock was Spotless Group, dropping 9.91 per cent to close at $1.04.  Shares in Ardent Leisure and Suncorp also closed lower. 
 
To commodities, Gold is trading at $US 1,229 an ounce. Light crude is $0.31 higher at $US 49.56 a barrel. The Australian dollar is buying $US 0.7208.