It has been a positive start to the trading week for the Australian share market with Monday’s rally being fuelled by France’s first round of presidential voting.
The Euro hit to a five month high and the ASX opened in the black. The index managed to maintain momentum throughout the session, before closing 0.3% higher.
Financials were the best performers this session, followed by gains in Consumer Discretionary and energy. Not such a great day however for REITs, Telcos and Materials which closed lower for the day, with the majority of base metals trading in the red.
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 18 points higher to finish at 5,872
The value of trades was $4 billion on volume of 589 million shares at the close of trade.
The top three stocks by value
Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP) and Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC)
The SPI is 10 points higher
Asian markets are mixed: The Shanghai Composite is 1.46 per cent lower, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is 0.09% higher and Tokyo’s Nikkei is 1.45 per cent higher.
Sirtex Medical Limited (ASX:SRT) shares have plunged almost 13% after the cancer treatment company announced its liver cancer clinical trial did not meet its primary end point. Sirtex’s cancer study called SARAH, involved around 460 patients. Although it did not meet its primary endpoint of improving overall survival when compared to current standard treatment, its product SIR-Sphere did show significantly better quality of life results. Shares in Sirtex Medical Limited (ASX:SRT) closed 12.94 per cent lower at $14.80.
Australia’s largest salmon producer, Tassal Group Limited (ASX:TGR), reported positive environmental improvements at its salmon pens in Macquarie Harbour in Southwest Tasmania.
The Directors at Spotless Group Holdings Limited (ASX:SPO) have unanimously recommended that shareholders reject the Downer EDI (ASX:DOW)’s takeover offer of $1.15 per share, as it does not reflect the value of the business.
Syrah Resources Limited (ASX:SYR) has awarded a five-year contract to Grindrod Mauritius to supply long and short haul logistics, customs clearing and dock facilities for Syrah’s Balama Project in northern Mozambique.
The best and worst performers of the day
The best performing sector was Financials adding 0.72 per cent to close at 6,877. The worst performing sector was REITs, losing 1.12 per cent to close at 1,420 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Bellamy’s Australia (ASX:BAL), rising 3.8 per cent to close at $4.64. Shares in Iluka Resources (ASX:ILU) and Regis Resources (ASX:RRL) also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Sirtex Medical (ASX:SRX), dropping 12.94 per cent to close at $14.80. Shares in Oz Minerals (ASX:OZL) and Japara Healthcare (ASX:JHC) also closed lower.
To commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,271 an ounce.
Light crude is $1.09 lower at $US49.63 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying 75.59 US cents