Shares stay stagnant: ASX200 closes 0.17% higher

Market Reports

by Carolyn Herbert

It has once again been a stagnant finish to the trading day for the Australian share market, with the local bourse being characterised by uncertainty for the entire session, closing the day 0.17 per cent higher. Sectors were mixed today, but losses in the Energy and Telcos sectors, offset the gains in Health Care and the Financials sectors. We saw a bounce back in the big four banks today after a steady sell down over the past couple of weeks, with gains of around 0.5 to 1 per cent.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 9 points higher to finish at 5,677.

The value of trades was $5.5 billion on volume of 813 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP), Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX:TLS) and Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG).

On the futures market the SPI is 8 points higher.

Asian markets

Taking a look at how Asian markets are tracking in afternoon trade. The Nikkei is 0.34 per cent lower, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is 0.18 per cent higher and the Shanghai Composite is 0.04 per cent higher.

Economic news

To local economic news: According to latest figures from the ABS, Australia’s trade surplus has fallen to the lowest point in six months to $555 million, a decrease of $2.6 billion on the surplus in March 2017. The decline was largely due to a reduction in exports, with imports relatively unchanged.

Company news

Rural Funds Group Limited (ASX:RFF) has announced the successful completion of the institutional component of its 2 for 9 entitlement issue to raise $18.9 million. The retail component of the offer will raise around $60 million. The units will be at a fixed price of $1.70 each, the funds from which will be put towards reducing gearing levels. Shares in Rural Funds closed 0.41 per cent lower at $1.75.

Auckland International Airport Limited (ASX:AIA) is set to invest $1.8 billion in an aeronautical program for the next five years that will transform its airport.

Clean Seas Seafood Limited (ASX:CSS) says its second FY2017 half profit are tipped to double on the back of strong fish growth.

Bega Cheese Limited (ASX:BGA) has strengthened its opening milk price, announcing its Victorian milk supply’s opening price is $5.50 per kilogram of milk solids.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Heath Care adding 1.54 per cent to close at 23,407. The worst performing sector was Telcos, losing 1.13 per cent to close at 1,544 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Bellamy’s Australia (ASX:BAL), rising 5.69 per cent to close at $5.76. Shares in Sigma Healthcare (ASX:SIG) and Platinum Asset Management (ASX:PTM) also closed higher.

The worst performing stock was Independence Group (ASX:IGO), dropping 4.78 per cent to close at $3.39. Shares in Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST) and Nanosonics (ASX:NAN) also closed lower.


Elsight Limited (ASX:ELS) started trading today. The technology company listed with an issue price of $0.20, opened at $0.15 and closed at $0.145. 

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,288 an ounce.
Light crude is $2.41 lower at $US45.78 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7551.


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