Pushing up, but not enough: Aus shares close 0.54% higher

Market Reports

by Clive Tompkins

It has been a sea of gains today for the Australian share market. We opened in the black, gaining momentum throughout the session, before levelling off in the afternoon.

It comes as the Aussie dollar dropped on the back of weaker than expected trade data.

All of the sectors closed in positive territory, with Utilities leading the way, followed by Financials, but there wasn’t enough steam to get the ASX200 over the 6,000 milestone again.

Adding more pep to its travel step was Corporate Travel (ASX:CTD), which gained about 4.7 per cent, while CSR (ASX:CSR) rose 4.3 per cent.

Putting a cap on gains though was Tassal Group (ASX:TGR), losing over 6 per cent, while BT Investment Management (ASX:BTT) copped a bit of selling, falling 3.8 per cent after it went ex-dividend today.

Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) saw the most selling out of the big energy players after the oil price dipped overnight.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 32 points up, or 0.54 per cent higher, to finish at 5,978.

The value of trades was $5.1 billion on volume of 677 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC) and BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP).

On the futures market the SPI is 37 points up.

Economic news

Australia trade surplus plummeted by $1.5 billion on the surplus in September to $105 million in October 2017 (in seasonally adjusted terms).

Despite the weaker than expected economic news, the ASX200 didn’t falter after the news came out.

Company news

Listed investment company, Pengana International Equities (ASX:HHV) has appointed Mr Francis Gooch as its new Chairman. He joined the board in June this year with 31 years of experience in finance and investment industries. His appointment was effective as of yesterday. He is also the MD of Milton Corporation, an Australian equities LIC with a market cap of over $3 billion. Shares in Pengana International Equities (ASX:HHV) closed 1.3 per cent higher at $1.17.

The ACCC has green lighted the proposed merger of News Corp's (ASX:NWS) Fox Sports and Foxtel, which is owned 50/50 with Telstra (ASX:TLS). The merger will see News Corp hold 65 per cent of the new entity and Telstra hold 35 per cent.

Air New Zealand (ASX:AIZ) advised that there will be some international flight cancellations and delays ‘each day over the coming weeks’ on the back of Rolls Royce’s engine maintenance issues on the Boeing 787-9 fleet.

And Santos (ASX:STO) inked a deal to buy 20 per cent of a JV licence and farmout deal in PNG.

IPOs

Rhythm Biosciences (ASX:RHY), which is developing a blood test for the early detection of colon or rectum cancer floated with an issue price of $0.20, opened at $0.30 and closed at $0.325.

Agricultural company, Roots (ASX:ROO) started trading on the ASX today after raising $5 million. It floated with an issue price of $0.20, opened at $0.35 and closed at $0.335.

And Nelson Resources (ASX:NES) floated with an issue price of $0.20, opened at $0.20 and closed at $0.19.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Utilities adding 1.12 per cent to close at 8840.

The sector with the least gains was Industrials, gaining 0.02 per cent to close at 5962 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Corporate Travel Management (ASX:CTD), rising 4.68 per cent to close at $21.25. Shares in CSR (ASX:CSR) and NIB Holdings (ASX:NHF) also closed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Tassal Group (ASX:TGR), dropping 6.49 per cent to close at $3.60. Shares in Vocus Group (ASX:VOC) and BT Investment Management (ASX:BTT) also closed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei added 1.17 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.23 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.63 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,263 an ounce.

Light crude is $1.65 down at $US55.97 barrel.

One Australian dollar is buying 75.45 US cents.