In the black: Aus shares close 0.3% higher

Market Reports

by Carolyn Herbert

It has been a positive end to the trading session for the Australian share market, marking its first day in the black following the Easter long weekend. The local bourse jumped at the open and managed to keep its head above water for the rest of the session, closing the day 0.3 per cent higher. Once again Telcos were the star performers, with the likes of Telstra (ASX:TLS) bouncing up to $4.24 , a gain of 2.6 per cent. Energy fared the worst today, followed by losses in the materials space.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 17 points up to finish at 5,821.

The value of trades was $5.2 billion on volume of 789 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX:TLS), BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP) and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA).

On the futures market the SPI is 5 points up.

Asian markets

Tokyo’s Nikkei is flat, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is up 0.31 per cent and the Shanghai Composite is 0.46 per cent lower.

Company news

Sydney Airport Limited (ASX:SYD) says international passenger growth for the March quarter has remained strong at 5.7 per cent compared to the same time last year. Domestic numbers were impacted during the quarter by service interruptions relating to Cyclone Debbie, rising by just 0.2 per cent on year. Total passengers increased 2.2 per cent compared to the March quarter a year ago.  Shares in Sydney Airport closed 1.02 per cent higher at $6.92.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd (ASX:WPL) has released its 1Q FY17 results, and reported a 9% drop in revenue to US$895 million.

Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (ASX:API) has released its 1H17 results, and reported its underlying NPAT rose 15% to $29.1 million.

Apartment developer Finbar Group Ltd (ASX:FRI) has received approval to develop its Canning Bridge residential project at the Perth suburb of Applecross.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Telcos adding 2.75 per cent to close at 1,496. The worst performing sector was Energy, losing 0.98 per cent to close at 9,218 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Iluka Resources (ASX:ILU), rising 11.04 per cent to close at $8.15. Shares in Henderson Group (ASX:HGG) and Sirtex Medical (ASX:SRX) also closed higher.

The worst performing stock was Saracen Minerals (ASX:SAR), dropping 5.94 per cent to close at $0.95. Shares in Bank of Queensland (ASX:BOQ) and Independence Group (ASX:IGO) also closed lower.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,280 an ounce.
Light crude is $1.79 lower at $US51.00 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7507.