Starting week on front foot: Aus shares close at milestone mark

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market has had a positive start to the trading week after miners rose on the back of the iron ore price lift, while falls in franchise owner, Retail Food Group (ASX:RFG) capped gained.

It comes as Retail Food Group (ASX:RFG) shares slid over 23 after a Sydney newspaper published allegations about the owner of Donut King, Brumby's Bakery, Michel's Patisserie and Gloria Jean’s warning its franchise owners not make complaints public or they'd risk their agreements.

Also seeing pressure today and holding back gains, was falls in other retailers such as (ASX:KGN), Myer (ASX:MYR) which lost over 3 and 2 per cent respectively. Staples like Treasury Wine Estate (AWE:TWE) and Bellamy’s Australia (ASX:BAL) also shed 2 per cent.

Going the other way and propping us up was gains in about 40 per cent of the market with Telcos, Energy, Financials and Materials flexing their muscles.

We danced above the 6,000 point record level today, but at the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 0.07 per cent higher or 4 points up for the day closing at 5,999.

The value of trades was $4.2 billion on volume of 599 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RIO) and BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP).

On the futures market the SPI is 9 points up.

Company news now

Australian automotive aftercare and accessory company, AMA Group (ASX:AMA) has put forth its third supplementary takeover offer for 4WD (ASX:4WD). Its offer will now expire on 12 January 2018. At the same time AMA also increased its holding in the takeover target to 76.83 per cent. Shares in AMA Group (ASX:AMA) closed 0.51 per cent lower to $0.97.

Oil and gas exploration company, AWE (ASX:AWE) received an takeover proposal from Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) offering a scrip-based $0.80 a share, beating the bid China Energy Reserve and Chemicals Group’s bid. At the same time the company, it also announced it has reduced its debt from $300 to $125 million which saves AWE $1.6 million per year.

Waste management company Cleanaway (ASX:CWY) inked to a deal to buy all of the shares in national waste management provider Toxfree Solutions (ASX:TOX) for $831 million.

Engineering management company Downer EDI (ASX:DOW) along with its joint venture partner Ausenco were been awarded an OZ Minerals contract worth $312 million.

The best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Telcos, closing 0.36 per cent higher to 1,328.
The worst performing sector was Industrials, closing 0.33 per cent lower to 5,942.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Flexigroup Limited (ASX:FXL), closing 4.29 per cent higher to $1.70. Shares in Metcash Limited (ASX:MTS) and CSR (ASX:CSR) also closed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Retail Food Group (ASX:RFG), closing 26.14 per cent lower to $3.25. Shares in Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) and Monadelphous Group (ASX:MND) also closed lower.

Asian markets 

Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.4 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.5 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.5 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,249 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.67 higher to $US57.36 72 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 75.25 US cents

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