ASX Rally: Aus shares close 0.87% higher

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

It has been strong day of trade for the Australian share market. After opening in the black the local bourse sharply rose after the Dow, S&P500 and the Nasdaq all posted record closes following a stellar US jobs report that smashed through expectations.

The bourse pushed higher again, after Japan’s Nikkei pushed through the 20,000 point mark for the first time in 18 months, with the ASX 200 closing the session 0.87 per cent higher.

Gains were seen right across the majority of sectors, with half the sectors closing about 1 per cent higher each. Ultilites, were the only drag on the session today, after the oil price dropped.

At the closing bell, The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 50 points up to finish at 5,788, gaining 36 points over the week.

The value of trades was $6 billion on volume of 790 million shares at the close of trade.

Top three stocks by value were Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) and BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP)

On the futures market the SPI is 46 points up.

Asian markets

The Nikkei is 1.9 per cent higher, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is 0.4 per cent higher and the Shanghai Composite is flat.

Wall Street

US major indexes have all gained over the four trading days this week:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has added 0.3 per cent.
The S&P 500 Index has gained 0.6 per cent.
The Nasdaq has added 0.6 per cent.
The 100 Index has risen 0.5 per cent.

Local economic news

The Housing Industry Association reported new home sales recovered in April, rising 0.8 per cent after falling 1.1 per cent in March. It comes as multi-unit dwelling sales fell 1.2 per cent and detached house sales rose 2.2 per cent in April. Of the states surveyed, sales for detached houses rose in New South Wales, Victoria, & South Australia, while sales fell in Queensland & Western Australia in April.

Company news 

Benitec Biopharma Limited (ASX:BLT) has filed a shelf registration statement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Subject to an initial review the registration will allow the company to issue up to US$20 million in securities, over a 3 year period. The securities will range from ordinary shares, preferred shares and or warrants . The ordinary shares will trade on the Nasdaq. Shares in Benitec Biopharma Limited (ASX:BLT) closed 4.45 per cent lower at 14 cents.

The ACCC has made a draft decision to approve an alliance that will allow Virgin Australia Holdings (ASX:VAH), to introduce new direct services between Australia and Hong Kong, as well as Australia and China. The proposed alliance is with Virgin Australia (ASX:VAH), HNA Aviation, Hong Kong Airlines and HK Express

A.P. Eagers Limited (ASX:APE) has agreed to buy the Porsche Centre Adelaide dealership for a total about $14 million (including goodwill, net assets and transaction costs).

ALS Limited (ASX:ALQ) has completed the purchase of Marshfield Food Services in the USA and OILCHECK in Brazil for a total purchase of $18.4 million in upfront payments, plus $4.2 million in earn outs (over the next three years if certain hurdles are reached).

The best and worst performers 

The best performing sector was Consumer Staples adding 1.3 per cent to close at 9,389. The worst performing sector was Utilites, losing 1.7 per cent to close at 9,029 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Sigma Healthcare Limited (ASX:SIG), rising 6.59 per cent to close at 89 cents. Shares in Asaleo Care Limited (ASX:AHY) and Henderson Group Plc (ASX:HGG) also closed higher.

The worst performing stock was St Barbara Limited (ASX:SBM), dropping 4.44 per cent to close at $2.80. Shares in AGL Energy Limited (ASX:AGL) and TPG Telecom Limited (ASX:TMP) also closed lower.

Commodities

Gold is trading at $US1,261 an ounce.
Light crude is 29 cents lower at $US48.03 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying 73.91 US cents.