The Australian share market has made a surprising turnaround this afternoon after plunging at the open and spending the first half of the session in negative territory. The local bourse ended up closing the day practically flat or 0.07 per cent higher. The biggest drag on the market today was the energy space, with the likes of Origin Energy and Santos losing around 3 per cent. At the end of the day it was the big banks that made a turnaround and provided the most support to the index.
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 4 points up to finish at 5,538.
The value of trades was $5.1 billion on volume of 673 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 BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP).
On the futures market the SPI is up 8 points.
Monadelphous Group Limited (ASX:MND) has announced it has reached an agreement with renewable energy specialist, ZEM Energy, to form an incorporated joint venture Zenviron. Zenviron has been selected as the preferred tenderer for the provision of the Balance of Plant associated with CWP renewable Sapphire Wind Farm. Shares in Monadelphous closed 3.78 per cent up at $9.89.
Wastewater treatment company, Emefcy Group Ltd (ASX:EMC) has signed deals with a number of China-based advisors to advance its ‘China strategy’.
SAI Global Ltd (ASX:SAI) confirms it’s reviewing the possible sale of its Assurance business.
Lithium Australia (ASX:LIT) has lodged applications for lithium exploration in Cape York, Queensland.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Financials excluding REITs adding 0.6 per cent to close at 6,717. The worst performing sector was Energy, losing 1.45 per cent to close at 8,422 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Medibank Private, rising 4.35 per cent to close at $3.12. Shares in Monadelphous and Aristocrat also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Isentia, dropping 5.23 per cent to close at $3.08. Shares in St Barbara and Seven West Media also closed lower.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,319 an ounce.
Light crude is $1.14 lower at $US43.05 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7528.