Returning from a public holiday the Australian share market opened strongly on the back of positive offshore leads, but retreated from session highs to end 0.3 per cent up. Strength among the financials bolstered the market while media stocks took a hit after an earnings downgrade from Seven West Media Limited (ASX:SWM).
The S&P/ASX 200 index added 15 points to finish at 4,375. On the futures market the SPI is currently 12 points lower.
Shares in Seven West Media Limited (ASX:SWM) slumped to today’s worst performer as investors reacted to a profit warning and downgrades from analysts, including Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and UBS. Seven West Media has blamed soft advertising for an expected fall in its full year earnings. Shares in Seven Group Holdings Limited (ASX:SVW) fell 2.12 per cent today, the group owns 29.6 per cent of Seven West Media. Shares in Seven West Media slumped 22.81 per cent today, closing at $2.91.
OZ Minerals Limited (ASX:OZL) has posted a lift in its quarterly production and affirmed its full year copper and gold production guidance. The miner also revealed the impact rain has had on its operations, with the strong Australian dollar also hitting the company’s costs. Shares in OZ Minerals Limited (ASX:OZL) closed steady today at $9.42.
Shares in Leighton Holdings Limited (ASX:LEI) firmed after the construction giant said its Middle Eastern arm has been awarded a $US169 million mine related project in Saudi Arabia, as part of a joint venture.
Shares in G8 Education Limited (ASX:GEM) rose after the education provider said it will pay $13 million to buy six childcare and education centres in Australia.
Shares in Kingsgate Consolidated Limited (ASX:KCN) fell after the gold miner posted a mixed quarterly production report and revealed problems at its Challenger mine in South Australia.
Property group GPT Group (ASX:GPT) says it will double its share buyback, bringing the potential cost to over $575 million.
Armour Energy (ASX:AJQ) started trading today. The company that develops gas and liquid resources has an issue price of $0.50, opened at $0.50 and closed 12 per cent lower at $0.44.
Best and worst performers
Most sectors closed higher: The best performing sector was Telco Services adding 13 points to close at 1,206. The worst performing sector was Consumer Discretionary, losing 12 points to close at 1,296 points.
The best performing stock in the S&PASX 200 was OneSteel Limited (ASX:OST), rising 4.31 per cent to close at $1.33. Shares in Sandfire Resources NL (ASX:SFR) and Paladin Energy Limited (ASX:PDN) also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Seven West Media Limited (ASX:SWM), dropping 22.81 per cent to close at $2.91. Shares in Southern Cross Media Group (ASX:SXL) and Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX:NCM) also closed lower.
Gold is trading at $US1,649 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.09 up at $US104.21 a barrel.
The Australian dollar
The Australian dollar is buying $US1.0381.