It has been a modest finish to the trading session for the Australian share market today, opening in the black and remaining there for the rest of the session before closing the day 0.38 per cent higher. At the end of the session it was the Health Care space which was the star performer, but Financials were close behind with gains in all of the big four banks. Not such a good day for the Energy space, which turned out to be the worst performer.
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 22 points up to finish at 5,766.
The value of trades was $4.5 billion on volume of 648 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), National Australia Bank Limited (ASX:NAB) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RIO).
On the futures market the SPI is 27 points up.
Taking a look at how Asian markets are tracking in afternoon trade. The Nikkei is 1.3 per cent lower, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is down 0.4 per cent and the Shanghai Composite is 0.3 per cent lower.
According to latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the total value of dwelling commitments was flat in June 2017, while the seasonally adjusted series rose 0.8 per cent for the month. The number of finance commitments for the construction of dwellings for owner occupation rose 1.9 per cent in June 2017, following the same rise in May.
Helloworld Travel Limited (ASX:HLO) says its hotel program management business AOT Hotels has successfully re-tendered for the Australian Government’s Accommodation Program Management contract. It has also entered into a new Deed with the Commonwealth for the ongoing provision of the APM Services. The new contract is for a period of 3 years with further extensions. Shares in Helloworld closed 1.54 per cent up at $4.28. :
Commonwealth Bank (ASX:CBA) has announced its statutory net profit after tax (NPAT) attributable to shareholders firmed 8 per cent higher in the 2017 financial year to $9.9 billion.
Carsales.com (ASX:CAR) has announced its adjusted net profit after tax (NPAT) advanced 8 per cent in the 2017 financial year to $119.1 million.
Incitec Pivot (ASX:IPL) has appointed Jeanne Johns as its new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, taking effect from 15 November 2017.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Health Care adding 0.7 per cent to close at 22,633. The worst performing sector was Energy, losing 0.9 per cent to close at 8,804 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Janus Henderson (ASX:JHG), rising 5.59 per cent to close at $45.49. Shares in Costa Group (ASX:CGC) and Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Mayne Pharma (ASX:MYX), dropping 7.45 per cent to close at $0.74. Shares in SkyCity and Sirtex also closed lower.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,266 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.43 lower at $US48.96 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7888.