Market Wrap: Aus shares close higher

Market Reports

Aussie shares managed to close the session moderately higher today, spurred by gains in mining stocks such as BHP and RIO Tinto. The S&P/ASX200 index is up 9 points at 4,413 and on the futures market, the SPI200 is up 15.

To company news around this afternoon: Bendigo Mining Ltd (ASX:BDG) has gone into a trading halt pending an announcement relating to a merger proposal. The Age reports that Bendigo is expected to enter into a friendly merger with BCD Resources (ASX:BCO) with combined annual gold production of around 160,000 ounces. Bendigo says the trading halt will continue until the earlier of the company releasing an announcement or the commencement of trade on Friday 23 June. Shares in Bendigo Mining last traded at $0.20.

Rox Resources Ltd (ASX:RXL) has announced that it has struck a deal with North Mining Ltd, a 100% subsidiary of Rio Tinto Ltd (ASX:RIO), which removes an impediment to the development of the company’s Myrtle zinc deposit in the Northern Territory. Under the agreement North Mining will take a stake in Rox in return for dropping the rights to a lump sum payment of $1 per tonne of the mineable resource at the Myrtle deposit. The junior miner says the agreement will establish North as Rox’s largest individual shareholder. Rox Chairman Jeff Gresham says the Myrtle deposit is a significant new zinc discovery, however the lump sum payment was becoming an impediment to the future development of the deposit. Shares in Rox Resources closed up 13.33% at $0.017

Also making news: Macquarie Atlas Roads Ltd (ASX:MQA) says in its June 2010 quarter review that revenue has continued to recover with increases seen on most roads in the company’s portfolio, recording a 5.2% gain in revenue for the period.

RHG Ltd (ASX:RHG) has upgraded profit guidance to a range of $86 million to $96 million for the 2010 financial year, up from the full year profit forecast of $65 million to $75 million the company made in February.

BHP Billiton Ltd (ASX:BHP) has announced annual production records in its petroleum and iron ore divisions for the year ended 30 June 2010.

Woolworths Ltd (ASX:WOW) has reported a 1.8% rise in fourth-quarter same-store sales from its central food and liquor operations, slower growth than in the third quarter.

In the best and worst performers: The best performing index at close was the Materials sector up 112 points at 11,682. The worst performing index at close was the Consumer Staples sector, down 94 points at 7,315.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ ASX200 was Linc Energy, share rose 17.62% to $1.535. Shares in Energy World Corporation and Downer EDI also closed higher.

The worst performing stock was Sundance Resources, shares fell 6.67% to close at $0.14. Shares in Avoca Resources and AWE Ltd also closed weaker today.

In commodities, gold is trading at $1,189.60 U.S an ounce, and light crude is up $0.08 at $77.66 U.S a barrel.