It has been a positive end to the trading session for the Australian share market today, despite a negative lead from Wall Street. The local bourse bounced at the open and managed to maintain that momentum throughout the session before closing 0.41 per cent higher. At the end of the day the utilities space was the best performer with gains in the likes of Infigen Energy and Credit Corp. We also saw gains in the financials space, with the big four banks closing in positive territory.
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 22 points up to finish at 5,411.
The value of trades was $4.8 billion on volume of 676 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP) and Westfield Corp (ASX:WFD).
On the futures market the SPI is 22 points up.
The Reserve Bank of Australia has released the minutes of its October board meeting where it once again kept interest rates on hold at a record low of 1.5 per cent. In its minutes, the central bank noted that there remained considerable uncertainty about momentum in the labour and housing markets. The RBA says it will take into consideration CPI Inflation data for the September quarter at its next meeting.
Kidman Resources Limited (ASX:KDR) has responded to a price query from the ASX after its shares fell from 65.5 cents on Friday to 55.5 cents in yesterday’s trade. The miner responded by stating it wasn’t aware of any information that had not been announced and it had stated on several occasions that drilling was ongoing at its Mt Holland lithium-gold project in WA. Kidman has also confirmed its discussions with Poseidon Nickel concerning Kidman’s use of Poseidon’s nearby Lake Johnson treatment plant are now at an advanced stage. Shares in Kidman Resources closed 11.32 per cent higher at $0.59.
Caltex Australia Ltd (ASX:CTX) has confirmed that it is interested in buying Woolworths’ petrol business.
Oil Search’s (ASX:OSH) total revenue rose by 16% to $309.5 million in the September quarter.
SomnoMed Ltd (ASX:SOM) has announced that it achieved record September sales, which were 23.8% higher compared to the same period last year.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Utilities adding 1.69 per cent to close at 7,125. The worst performing sector was Industrials, losing 0.35 per cent to close at 5,108 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Infigen Energy, rising 8.07 per cent to close at $0.87. Shares in Challenger Financial and Credit Corp also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Incitec Pivot, dropping 4.47 per cent to close at $2.78. Shares in Caltex Australia and Blackmores also closed lower.
Antipodes Global Investment Limited (ASX:APL) started trading today. The listed investment company listed with an issue price of $1.10, opened at $1.08 and a closed at $1.75.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,259 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.28 lower at $US50.47 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7666.