In the black: Aus shares close 0.7% higher

Market Reports

by Carolyn Herbert

It has been a positive end to the day’s trade for the Australian share market, opening in the black and continuing to gain momentum throughout the session before closing 0.7 per cent higher. The materials space was the star performer this session after a jump in the price of commodities overnight.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 40 points up to finish at 5,761.

The value of trades was $4.8 billion on volume of 692 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG), BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RIO).

On the futures market the SPI is up 47 points.

Company news

Bradken Limited (ASX:BKN) says revenues have declined 6 per cent to $380 million compared to 1H 2016, reflecting flat conditions in mining related businesses. The mining services company says that despite the softness, Bradken is expected to deliver an underlying EBITDA of around $52 million for H1 2017. Shares in Bradken closed flat at $3.22.

Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX:NCM) has announced its underlying profit hit US$273 million in the six months to 31 December 2016, which is a 333% rise from the prior corresponding period.

JB Hi Fi Limited (ASX:JBH) has announced its underlying net profit after tax soared 31.7% in the first half of the 2017 financial year, compared to the prior corresponding period.

Hunter Hall International (ASX:HHL) has announced it intends to reject Pinnacle Investment Management (ASX:PNI)'s revised Takeover Offer of $2.00 per share.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Materials adding 2.2 per cent to close at 10,366. The worst performing sector was REITs, losing 0.8 per cent to close at 1,358 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG), rising 6.17 per cent to close at $6.88. Shares in Aconex (ASX:ACX) and Western Areas (ASX:WSA) also closed higher.

The worst performing stock was Bendigo Bank (ASX:BEN), dropping 4.99 per cent to close at $12. Shares in Dominos Pizza (ASX:DMP) and Scentre Group (ASX:SCG) also closed lower.

Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,230 an ounce. Light crude is $0.76 higher at $US53.85 a barrel. The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7670.


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