Market Wrap: Aus shares hit 17 month high

Market Reports

Despite a soft lead from Wall Street the Australian share market lifted from a steady start to end 0.4 per cent stronger at a 17-month high. On the local front Treasurer Wayne Swan backed down from a promise to return Australia to surplus next year. Overseas, The Bank of Japan boosted its stimulus program as attention remains fixed on US budget talks as the fiscal cliff deadlines draws closer.  

Figures

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 16 points to end the session at 4,634.

The value of trades was $6.2 billion on volume of 1.17 billion shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) and National Australia Bank Limited (ASX:NAB).

On the futures market the SPI is 5 points higher.
 
Company news

OZ Minerals Limited (ASX:OZL) has issued a profit warning one day after the gold and copper producer’s stock dropped almost 10 per cent. The miner says its annual earnings are likely to fall about 15 per cent from last year and could continue to soften into next year on the back of higher costs and lower copper output. Despite the warning shares in OZ Minerals rose 2.98 per cent today, closing at $6.91. 

Shares in Cape Lambert Resources Limited (ASX:CFE) fell today on news the exploration and development company’s headquarters have been raided by the Federal Police. Cape Lambert told the ASX today the raids were not related to its business amid reports Executive Chairman Tony Sage is being targeted as part of ongoing investigations from the tax office and corporate regulators. Shares in Cape Lambert Resources fell 7.02 per cent today, closing at $0.27. 
 
Shares in Qantas Airways Limited (ASX:QAN) lifted after its proposed Emirates alliance received conditional approval from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). 
 
Shares in Carsales.com Limited (ASX:CRZ) dropped after the ACCC blocked the online classifieds business’ proposed purchase of Trading Post from Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX:TLS)
 
Shares in Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX:TLS) firmed despite Australia’s competition regulator also today casting doubt over its plan to buy budget broadband service provider Adam Internet. 
 
Shares in Leighton Holdings Limited’s (ASX:LEI) dipped after its subsidiary Thiess and Macmahon Holdings Limited (ASX:MAH) scored a $458 million contract to upgrade a section of the Pacific Highway. 
 
Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was real estate investment trusts adding 16 points to close at 989.
The worst performing sector was energy, losing 74 points to close at 12,355 points.

The best performing stock in the S&PASX 200 was Boart Longyear Limited (ASX:BLY), rising 9.62 per cent to close at $1.71. Shares in Bathurst Resources Limited (ASX:BTU) and Linc Energy Limited (ASX:LNC) also closed higher.
 
The worst performing stock was Billabong International Limited (ASX:BBG), dropping 5.88 per cent to close at $0.80. Shares in Macmahon Holdings Limited (ASX:MAH) and Gryphon Minerals Limited (ASX:GRY) also closed lower. 
 
IPOs

Uranium explorer Enterprise Uranium Limited (ASX:ENU) listed with an issue price of $0.20, opened at $0.19 and closed at $0.19.

Gold and graphite explorer Paringa Resources Limited (ASX:PNL) listed with an issue price of $0.30 opened at $0.30 and closed at $0.27.    
 
Commodities

Gold is trading at $US1,668 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.39 down at $US89.59 a barrel.

The Australian dollar

The Australian dollar is buying $US1.048.