The Australian share market has ended the day 0.7 per cent higher, but trading remains weak ahead of tomorrow’s European leaders summit.
The S&P/ASX 200 index gained 30 points to close at 4,043. On the futures market the SPI is 29 points higher.
News Corporation (ASX:NWS) confirms it’s considering a restructuring to separate its business into two distinct publicly traded companies. It’s expected the plans to split the television and film divisions from its newspaper and book publishing assets is likely to be finalised by the end of the week. Shares surged on the news. But why such an enthusiastic response? According to Bloomberg, the split could boost returns for News Corp shareholders by more than 30 per cent. News Corp shares jumped 3.42 per cent, closing at $21.50.
Boral Limited (ASX:BLD) reveals to the market that bad weather, delays, weak property sales, an earlier than planned maintenance shutdown and weakness in the residential sector will seriously impact its bottom line. The building and construction materials supplier expects profit for the financial year to be around $100 million, up to $75 million less than the original forecast. This assumes two property sales worth up to $24 million. There were indications that conditions were getting tough when the company downgraded its initial guidance by $22 million in April. Boral shares lost 1.88 per cent, closing at $3.13.
Alesco Corporation Limited (ASX:ALS) directors again urge shareholders to reject DuluxGroup Limited’s (ASX:DLX) offer, calling it “opportunistic”.
Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX:FMG) founder Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest spends more than $100 million this month alone buying almost 22 million shares in the company.
Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX:TLS) stops recording internet addresses visited by mobile customers following a backlash over privacy concerns.
And Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting makes its first statement on editorial independence at Fairfax Media Limited (ASX:FXJ) saying it supports journalistic integrity and accuracy – that’s according to Fairfax Digital.
Best and worst performers of the day
The best performing sector was Real Estate Investment Trusts rising 13 points to close at 879. The worst performing sector was Materials, losing 37 points to close at 9,240 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Bathurst Resources Limited (ASX:BTU), gaining 5.71 per cent to close at $0.37. Shares in JB Hi-Fi Limited (ASX:JBH) and Senex Energy Limited (ASX:SXY) also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Alacer Gold Corporation (ASX:AQG), dropping 8.73 per cent to close at $5.02. Shares in Lynas Corporation Limited (ASX:LYC) and Coalspur Mines Limited (ASX:CPL) also closed lower.
Gold is trading at $US1,570 an ounce. Light crude is down $0.03 at $US79.33 a barrel.
The Australian dollar
The Australian dollar is buying $US1.006.