Flat finish: Aus shares close 0.04% higher

Market Reports

by Carolyn Herbert

Despite what looked like a promising start to the week for the Australian share market, the local bourse ran out of puff towards the end of the session and ended up closing 0.04 per cent higher. The energy space continued to excel this session, with Santos Limited (ASX:STO) and Senex Energy (ASX:SXY) both jumping more than 5 per cent. Healthcare fared the worst today with blood products giant CSL Limited (ASX:CSL) shedding close to 3 per cent.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 2 points up to finish at 5,563.

The value of trades was $5 billion on volume of 748 million 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 CSL Limited (ASX:CSL)

On the futures market the SPI is 7 points up.

Economic news

According to the latest lending figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, housing finance for owner-occupation fell 0.5 per cent in trend terms for the month of October. The value of total personal finance commitments fell 1.2 per cent and total commercial finance commitments rose 1.7 per cent.

Company news

Estia Health Limited (ASX:EHE) has announced a 1 for 3 non-renounceable entitlement offer to raise around $136.8 million. Under the offer, shares will be issued at a price of $2.10 each and will comprise an institutional and retail component. The company will remain in a trading halt until tomorrow, then ordinary shares will resume trade. Shares in Estia Health last traded at $2.68.

Qantas Airways Limited (ASX:QAN) has announced it will commence non-stop flights from Perth to London in March 2018.

Ardent Leisure Group (ASX:AAD) reopened Dreamworld on Saturday, after an extended close down period following the tragic deaths of visitors on the Thunder River Rapids ride.

iSelect Limited (ASX:ISU) has announced its CEO Scott Wilson has been appointed to the Board as Managing Director and CEO.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Energy adding 2.85 per cent to close at 9,246. The worst performing sector was Healthcare, losing 1.66 per cent to close at 18,856 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Santos Limited (ASX:STO), rising 5.12 per cent to close at $4.52. Shares in Iluka Resources (ASX:ILU) and AusNet Services (ASX:AST) also closed higher.

The worst performing stock was Flight Centre (ASX:FLT), dropping 7.67 per cent to close at $30.46. Shares in A2 Milk (ASX:A2M) and Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG) also closed lower.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,158 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.64 higher at $US51.48 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7453.


Carolyn Herbert

Finance News Network
Carolyn joined FNN in August 2015 as the Head of News and also presented the Market at Midday and the Market Wrap. With more than five years of broadcast journalism experience, Carolyn has worked as a finance anchor on the Sky News Business channel and as an anchor and reporter for ABC News. She is also a qualified corporate lawyer specialising in IPOs, takeovers and mergers and acquisitions.