The Australian share market has finally rebounded today after three straight sessions in the red. The local bourse opened sharply higher and continued to gain momentum throughout the session before closing up 1.1 per cent. The energy space charged ahead today after OPEC revealed it would curb oil production; Santos and LNG led the gains closing almost 12 per cent higher. The big banks also continued on their stellar run with CBA gaining close to a dollar, and ever closer to the $80 mark.
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 60 points up to finish at 5,500.
The value of trades was $7.9 billion on volume of 1.2 billion shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) and Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX:TLS).
On the futures market the SPI is 63 points up
Manufacturing activity in Australia has jumped 3.3 points to 54.2 points in November, according to latest data released by the Australian Industry Group. This indicates further expansion, as results above 50 points indicate strength.
Paladin Energy Limited (ASX:PDN) has commenced discussions with stakeholders relating to its US$212 million debt which needs to be repaid by April 2017. The embattled uranium production company will consider selling its 24 per cent interest in the Langer Heinrech uranium mine for US$175 million in order to help pay off the debt. In the past year alone the price of Paladin’s shares have more than halved. Shares in Paladin Energy closed 21.69 per cent lower at $0.07.
The NSW government has awarded a $1.7 billion contract to engineering company, Downer EDI (ASX:DOW) – to deliver the next generation of trains for Sydney.
IVF provider Virtus Health (ASX:VRT), has acquired a fertility clinic near Copenhagen, Denmark.
New Zealand’s largest telco provider, Spark New Zealand Ltd (ASX:SPK), has announced it will acquire the remaining 50 per cent in Connect 8 it doesn’t already own.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Energy adding 7.21 per cent to close at 9,138. The worst performing sector was REITS, losing 2.44 per cent to close at 1,294 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Santos, rising 11.7 per cent to close at $4.39. Shares in Beach Energy and Worley Parsons also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Saracen Minerals, dropping 6.81 per cent to close at $0.89. Shares in Evolution Mining and Aconex also closed lower.
Freedom Insurance Group Limited (ASX:FIG) started trading today. The insurance product company floated with an issue price of $0.35, opened at $0.38 and closed at $0.375.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,174 an ounce.
Light crude is $3.75 higher at $US48.98 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US74.12.