It has been a stellar start to the trading week for the Australian share market, bouncing sharply higher at the open and continuing that momentum throughout the session before closing 2.02 per cent higher. The materials space lead the charge today with gains across the board; the big miners BHP and Rio Tinto both gained between 2.5 and 3 per cent. The gold and silver miners also continued to shine, despite a small dip in the price of gold overnight. Finally some relief for the financials space with the big four banks all rallying; but it was ANZ that won the race jumping 3.5 per cent at the close.
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 107 points up to finish at 5,337.
The value of trades was $4.3 billion on volume of 623 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ) and Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC).
On the futures market the SPI is 106 points up.
The number of home loans approved in May fell 1 per cent, according to latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This is compared to economists’ expectations of a drop of 2 per cent. Loans for investment properties jumped 3.9 per cent compared to a 0.6 per cent drop in owner-occupied loans.
Neometals Limited says a feasibility study has shown positive results on producing battery grade lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate using the patented ELi process. The ELi process converts spodumine concentrate into a high purity lithium chloride solution, then uses electrolysis to produce high quality lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate to be used in the lithium ion battery industry. Shares in Neometals closed 7.69 per cent lower at $0.42.
Lithium Australia NL (ASX:LIT) has announced it has acquired the rights to Pegmatite Minerals in the Widgiemooltha pegmatite field in WA in conjunction with its Goldfields Lithium Alliance partner Cazaly Resources.
Billabong International Limited (ASX:BBG) has announced it has entered into an agreement to settle a class action bought against the company in 2015.
CIMIC Group Limited (ASX:CIM) has announced the Asian division of Leighton Contractors and its joint venture partner China State Construction Engineering have been awarded a $1.58B contract by the Government of Hong Kong.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Materials adding 2.9 per cent to close at 8,661. The sector with the least gains was Energy, adding 0.6 per cent to close at 8,329 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Iluka Resources, rising 10.8 per cent to close at $7.16. Shares in Whitehaven Coal and South32 also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Primary Health, dropping 2.36 per cent to close at $3.73. Shares in Mesoblast and Pact Group also closed lower.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,363 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.27 higher at $US45.41 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7565.