Strong finish: Aus shares close 0.54% higher

Market Reports

by Carolyn Herbert

Well with just one more trading day to go before the Christmas holiday, the Australian share market is showing no signs of slowing. The local bourse defied a weak lead from Wall Street and ploughed ahead throughout the session before closing 0.54 per cent higher. The big banks continued on their winning streak gaining around 0.5 per cent, except for ANZ which gained double the others up around 1.2 per cent.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 30 points up to finish at 5,644.

The value of trades was $4.2 billion on volume of 587 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ) and BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP).

On the futures market the SPI is 24 points up.

Company news

Watpac Limited (ASX:WTP) has updated the market on its earnings guidance for the period ended 31 December 2016. For the first half, the company expects profit before tax to come in at breakeven. While Watpac says this is an improvement on the pre-tax loss of $32.8 million in the previous corresponding period, it’s lower than the underlying profit before tax of $8.7 million reported for the same period last year. Shares in Watpac closed 9.2 per cent down at $0.79.

Seven West Media (ASX:SWM) has confirmed its continued support for CEO, Tim Worner, after news broke out that he had an 18-month extra-marital affair with a former executive assistant, Amber Harrison.

Bellamy’s Australia Ltd (ASX:BAL) has once again surprised investors by announcing that its shares will not resume trading until 13 January 2017.

Caltex Australia Ltd (ASX:CTX) has entered a deal to purchase independent fuel company, Gull New Zealand, for $325 million.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Telcos adding 1 per cent to close at 1,773. The worst performing sector was Healthcare, losing 0.2 per cent to close at 19,463 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Bega Cheese (ASX:BGA), rising 5.96 per cent to close at $4.27. Shares in Fisher and Paykel Health (ASX:FPH) and TPG Telecom (ASX:TPM) also closed higher.

The worst performing stock was Estia Health (ASX:EHE), dropping 5.32 per cent to close at $2.49. Shares in Asaleo Care (ASX:AHY) and A2 Milk (ASX:A2M) also closed lower.


Kalium Lakes Limited (ASX:KLL) started trading today. The mineral exploration company listed at $0.20, opened at $0.20 and closed at $0.22.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,131 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.79 down at $US52.51 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US72.35.


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