The Australian share market has ended its five day losing streak- just- finishing 0.2 per cent stronger on the back of some strong performances among financial and consumer discretionary stocks, however still felt the weight of losses from the materials and utilities sector.
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 11 points up to finish at 4,971. The value of trades was $4 billion on volume of 748 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP)
, National Australia Bank Limited (ASX:NAB)
and Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC)
On the futures market the SPI is 17 points up.
Bank of Queensland Limited (ASX:BOQ)
has appointed former Citigroup managing director Roger Davis as its chairman. The appointment of 59-year-old Davis follows the retirement of BOQ chairman Neil Summerson who will remain on the board until July 30. Shares in BOQ closed 1.36 per cent up at $8.97.
Watpac Limited (ASX:WTP)
has finalised contractual negotiations with the Queensland government to deliver the second stage of construction works for the Gold Coast aquatic centre. The contract is valued at $37 million and works are expected to be completed by mid-next year, ahead of the pan pacific swimming championships and the 2018 Commonwealth games. Shares in Watpac closed 0.99 per cent up at $0.51.
Coal producer New Hope Corporation Limited (ASX:NHC)
has cut output at its West Moreton operations in Queensland from 1.1 million tonnes to 700 thousand tonnes annually following a shift from a six day to five day per week operation.
Virgin Australia’s Holdings Limited (ASX:VAH)
purchase of 60 per cent of Tiger Airways' shares has been approved by the Foreign Investment Review Board.
Pharmaxis Limited (ASX:PXS)
shares fell just over 13 per cent today after the pharmaceutical company said it plans to cut expenditure by almost 30 per cent, including extensive job losses and consolidation of manufacturing facilities.
Cabcharge Australia Limited (ASX:CAB)
finished as today’s worst performing stock, plunging following a Victorian government decision to slash card-payment fees for taxis.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Consumer discretionary adding 12 points to close at 1,588.
The worst performing sector was Utilities, losing 17 points to close at 5,478 points.
The best performing stock in the S&PASX 200 was Mirabela Nickel Limited (ASX:MBN)
, rising 25.81 per cent to close at $0.20. Shares in Silver Lake Resources Limited (ASX:SLR)
and Leighton Holdings Limited (ASX:LEI)
also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Cabcharge Australia Limited (ASX:CAB)
, dropping 15.31 per cent to close at $4.15. Shares in Maverick Drilling and Exploration Limited (ASX:MAD)
and Buru Energy Limited (ASX:BRU)
also closed lower.
Gold is trading at $US1,387 an ounce. Light crude is $0.55 down at $US93.60 a barrel.
The Australian dollar
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.965.