Market Wrap: Aus shares close higher

Market Reports

The local share market has closed higher today amidst quite trade as investors took a step back ahead of tonight’s session on Wall St. Gains in the major banks and miners helped to support the market and keep it in positive territory at close.

The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 25 points higher at 4,552, up 46 points on the week, while on the futures market, the SPI200’s down 7 points.

Looking to the U.S. and on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial index closed 223 points stronger for the four trading days this week. The S&P500 Index up 24 points, the NASDAQ is 64 points stronger and the 100 index gained 64 as well.

To company news around this afternoon: ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ) is reportedly happy with the stake it holds in Indonesia’s PT Bank Panin and is not looking to increase its interest in the company. Despite ongoing media speculation that ANZ is the front runner to acquire the Gunawan family’s 46% stake, ANZ says it does not plan to acquire the bank. CEO of Asia-Pacific, Europe and America, Alex Thursby told a press conference that the bank is very happy with its partnership today in Panin Bank and that there are no plans to acquire a greater stake in the company. Shares in ANZ closed 0.83% higher at $23.14.

Mineral exploration company Cazaly Resources Ltd (ASX:CAZ) has sold its Kalgoorlie gold assets to Phoenix Gold to focus on its Parker Range project. Cazaly says on order to fully focus on the development of the Parker Range Iron Ore Project, it has sold its Kalgoorlie Gold assets, including its 100% owned subsidiary Hayes Mining and 100% interest in the Kalgoorlie West Gold Projects, to Phoenix. The company says it will receive $3.5 million in cash and shares in addition to $2.5 million on completion of drilling and production milestones. Phoenix Gold is an emerging Australian resources company focused on the acquisition, exploration and development of gold projects. Shares in Cazaly Resources closed 0.97% stronger at $0.52.

Also making news: Cement building products manufacturer, James Hardie Industries SE (ASX:JHX) has completed its transformation into an Irish Societas Europaea company as part of its decision to move its headquarters from The Netherlands to Ireland.

And junior explorer Consolidated Tin Mines Ltd (ASX:CSD) says it is to enter into discussions with potential Chinese off-take and joint venture partners for its Mt Garnet Tin Project in Shanghai, China.

Taking a look back at some of the stories that made headlines this week: Qantas Airways Ltd (ASX:QAN) has appointed Gareth Evans as chief financial officer.

Engineering and construction company Leighton Holdings Ltd (ASX:LEI) has secured $1.5 billion worth of contracts in Australia and Indonesia.

And in news today, Paul Zahra is the new CEO of upmarket retailer David Jones Ltd (ASX:DJS) after former CEO Mark McInnes resigned amid scandalous claims of sexual harassment by a female staff member.

In the best and worst performers: The best performing sector at close was the Telco Services index, up 22 points at 1,091. The worst performing sector at close was the Industrials index; down 29 points at 3,417.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ ASX200 was Perseus Mining, shares rose 7.31% to close at $2.35, followed by Gunns and St Barbara.

The worst performing stock was Brambles, shares dropped 5.15% to close at $5.89. Shares in iSOFT Group and ConnectEast Group also closed weaker today.

And finally, the Aussie dollar is trading at 86.94 US cents - and is up almost 2 cents on the week. In commodities, gold is trading at $1,245.55 U.S an ounce and is up $19.65 on the week, and light crude is down 39 cents at $76.40 U.S a barrel.