Market Wrap: ASX closes 0.7% stronger

Market Reports

The Australian share market held onto its early gains to finish the day 0.7% stronger, with energy stocks leading the way. Materials were also strong, jumping 1.3 per cent, and financials also performing well. The RBA surprised no one, keeping interest rates on hold at 2.5 per cent, with Governor Glenn Stevens commenting that recent rises in the Australian dollar aren’t quite supporting costs and productivity in the economy. 
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 42 points up to finish at 5,432. The value of trades was $2.8 billion on volume of 519 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP) and Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC).
 
On the futures market the SPI is 37 points up.
 
Economic news

The Australian Industry Group Performance of Services Index (PSI) rose 0.8 points to 47.9 in October, its highest level since March. Despite the rise, the index remains in the sub-50 contraction zone.
 
Company news 
 
Linc Energy Limited (ASX:LNC) has announced plans to shut down its underground coal gasification research and development facility in south-west Queensland and move overseas, at a cost of several million dollars and jeopardising the jobs of up to thirty workers. Chief Peter Bond says the oil and gas explorer expects to commence the relocation by the end of this year, with possible destinations including Poland, Indonesia or Wyoming in the US, due to a frustratingly slow local approvals process. Shares in Linc Energy closed 0.37 per cent up at $1.35. 
 
ERM Power Limited (ASX:EPW) shares saw a solid jump today after the electricity supplier was placed on a shortlist of possible buyers for two NSW power stations valued at $2.1 billion. The Brisbane-based company says it’s been shortlisted for the final bidding round on the stations and will undertake a due diligence on the power stations before deciding whether to submit a final offer. Shares in ERM closed 4.64 per cent up at $2.93. 
 
Commonwealth Property Office Fund (ASX:CPA) says its book value has jumped by $60 million following a draft independent valuation.
 
Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX:TLS) has filed a registration statement to list Chinese internet business Autohome on the New York Stock Exchange.
 
Treasury Wine Estates Limited (ASX:TWE) has denied allegations brought against it  in a class action regarding breach of disclosure obligations over inventory problems in the United States.
 
Ramelius Resources Limited (ASX:RMS) has entered into a $16 million gold pre-pay finance facility with Deutsche Bank Australia through its wholly owned subsidiary Mt Magnet Gold. 
 
Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Energy adding 184 points to close at 14,141.
The worst performing sector was Healthcare, losing 5 points to close at 14,021 points.
 
The best performing stock in the S&PASX 200 was Sundance Resources Limited (ASX:SDL), rising 15 per cent to close at $0.12. Shares in Perseus Mining Limited (ASX:PRU) and OceanaGold Corporation (ASX:OGC) also closed higher.
 
The worst performing stock was Mermaid Marine Australia Limited (ASX:MRM), dropping 3.87 per cent to close at $3.48. Shares in NRW Holdings Limited (ASX:NWH) and STW Communications Group Limited (ASX:SGN) also closed lower. 
 
Commodities

Gold is trading at $US1,315 an ounce. Light crude is $0.01 up at $US94.62 a barrel. The Australian dollar is buying $US0.9475. 

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