It has been a positive end to the trading session for the Australian share market, opening in the black and gaining momentum throughout the session before closing 0.52 per cent higher. The materials space did the bulk of the heavy lifting following a surge in the price of iron ore overnight. We also saw modest gains in all of the big four banks. The utilities and energy sectors were the worst performers this session following another slide in the oil price.
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 30 points up to finish at 5,651.
The value of trades was $5.2 billion on volume of 738 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP)
, Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC)
and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA)
On the futures market the SPI is 25 points up.Company news
Salmon farmer Tassal Group (ASX:TGR)
has reduced stocking rates by 20 per cent due to concerns about the conditions in Macquarie Harbour in Tasmania. The decision was made to fully de-stock the Franklin lease after the Environmental Protection Authority picked up significant-non compliances at the lease. Late last year, the EPA noted that conditions in the harbour had deteriorated and there were increasing levels of certain bacteria. Shares in Tassal Group closed 1.79 per cent lower at $4.40.
Ardent Leisure (ASX:AAD)
says revenues for January were down more than 50 per cent to $6.97 million, compared to revenues of $14.05 million in January 2016.
CIMIC Group (ASX:CIM)
says NPAT rose 12 per cent to $580.3 million for the full year ended 31 December 2016.
Carsales.com Ltd (ASX:CAR)
says total operating revenue for H1 17 rose 7 per cent to $178.6 million, compared to the previous corresponding period (H1 FY16).Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Financials excluding REITs adding 0.96 per cent to close at 7,206. The worst performing sector was Energy, losing 0.96 per cent to close at 8,949 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Seven Group Holdings (ASX:SVW)
, rising 14.36 per cent to close at $8.92. Shares in Premier Investments (ASX:PMV)
and Carsales.com (ASX:CAR)
also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Genworth Mortgage (ASX:GMA)
, dropping 14.84 per cent to close at $2.87. Shares in Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY)
and Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG)
also closed lower.Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,233 an ounce.
Light crude is $1.48 lower at $US51.70 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7632.