Market Wrap: Regional rallies buoy ASX

Market Reports

Rallies in regional markets have buoyed local stocks to see the Australian share market close 0.7 per cent up. Materials and financials shares performed strongly on the first trading day post-election, with strong building approvals data also providing support. 
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 37 points up to finish at 5,182. The value of trades was $3.6 billion on volume of 650 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Woolworths Limited (ASX:WOW), BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP) and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA)
 
On the futures market the SPI is 40 points up.
 
Economic news

Australian Bureau of Statistics has released its housing finance data for July, showing a 2.4 per cent rise in the number of home loans approved. 52,204 loans were approved in the month, up from 50,983 in June and ahead of economist forecasts of a 2 per cent rise. Total housing finance by value went up by 1.1 per cent to $24.18 billion. 
 
ANZ says job advertisements have declined 2.0 per cent in August after falling 1.1 per cent in July. Following six consecutive monthly declines, job ads numbers are 19 per cent below year-ago levels in August and only 5 per cent above the lowest level reached during the global financial crisis.
 
Company news 
 
Cash Converters International Limited (ASX:CCV) aims to raise $50 to $60 million through an issue of corporate bonds, offering senior unsecured notes at a minimum subscription of $50,000. Funds raised will repay part of the group’s existing debt and fund further investments.
Shares in Cash Converters closed 0.82 per cent up at $1.23. 
 
Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX:NCM) chief Greg Robinson has taken a $1 million pay cut on the back of the gold miners full year profit tumble.
Mr Robinson took home $2.7 million in fiscal 2013 and will not receive a salary boost when Newcrest performs its annual pay review in October. Shares in Newcrest closed 3.44 per cent up at $13.24. 
 
National Australia Bank Limited (ASX:NAB) has taken over AMP Limited (ASX:AMP) as the country’s largest manager of corporate super, according to research company DEXX&R.
 
RHG Limited (ASX:RHG) has received a further revised takeover proposal from Pepper Australia and Cadence Capital Limited (ASX:CDM), which offers combinations of cash and Cadence shares, with an increased cash component. 
 
The Trust Company Limited (ASX:TRU) shares firmed after it agreed to a sweetened takeover bid from Perpetual Limited (ASX:PPT) after IOOF Holdings Limited (ASX:IFL) made a rival offer last week.
 
Beadell Resources Limited (ASX:BDR) shares rose after it posted a first half net profit of $37.1 million after its maiden six months of production at its Duckhead gold mine in Brazil. 
 
Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Materials adding 129 points to close at 9,759.
The worst performing sector was Utilities, losing 32 points to close at 5,433.
 
The best performing stock in the S&PASX 200 was Emeco Holdings Limited (ASX:EHL), rising 11.11 per cent to close at $0.25. Shares in Mount Gibson Iron Limited (ASX:MGX) and Boart Longyear Limited (ASX:BLY) also closed higher.
 
The worst performing stock was Discovery Metals Limited (ASX:DML), dropping 7.69 per cent to close at $0.12. Shares in McMillan Shakespeare Limited (ASX:MMS) and Monadelphous Group Limited (ASX:MND) also closed lower. 
 
Commodities

Gold is trading at $US1,388 an ounce. Light crude is $2.16 up at $US110.53 a barrel.

The Australian dollar

The Australian dollar is buying $US0.9196.