Following a positive open the local share market managed to maintain its momentum throughout the session before closing 0.64% higher at the final bell. Today it was the staples sector that was the stand out performer with the likes of Woolworths leading the charge after it announced it would cut 500 jobs in a billion dollar corporate restructure. The materials sector was hit the hardest today after a fall in commodity prices across the board overnight.
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 35 points up to finish at 5,534.
The value of trades was $4.1 billion on volume of 587 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Woolworths Limited (ASX:WOW), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) and ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ).
On the futures market the SPI is 15 points up.
Tech Mpire Limited (ASX:TMP) has been placed into a trading halt pending the release of an announcement by the company. The company says the announcement relates to the resignation of one director, resulting in the company only having two directors. The company says the halt will last until the earlier of a new director being appointed or Wednesday the 27th of July. Shares in Tech Mpire last traded at $0.35.
Woolworths Limited (ASX:WOW) has updated the market on progress related to its operating model review, indicating it will explore options to sell online retailer EziBuy.
WAM Capital Limited (ASX:WAM) has announced its operating profit before tax has increased 85.7 percent to $132.3 million for the financial year.
PolyNovo Limited (ASX:PNV) has announced it has partnered with Professor Toby Coates and A/Professor John Greenwood AM to develop an alternative to Islet Cell Transplantation for diabetes management.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Staples adding 3.3 per cent to close at 8,898. The worst performing sector was Materials, losing 0.4 per cent to close at 8,482 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Woolworths, rising 8.24 per cent to close at $24.30. Shares in Corporate Travel and Metcash also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Isentia, dropping 5.25 per cent to close at $3.25. Shares in Regis Resources and St Barbara also closed lower.
Australis Oil and Gas Limited (ASX:ATS) started trading today. The oil and gas exploration company listed with an issue price of $0.25, opened at $0.255 and a closed at $0.255.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,318 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.41 lower at $US44.26 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7483.