Market Wrap: BHP and banks lead ASX higher

Market Reports


The Australian share market closed 0.45 per cent up as BHP and the big four banks led shares higher. 
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 25 points up to finish at 5,511. 
 
The value of trades was $2.73 billion on volume of 508 million 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 17 points higher.

Company news
 
Vocus Communications Limited (ASX:VOC) has renegotiated a contract with its largest IP Transit customer, Vodaphone New Zealand Limited at a lesser price than the prior year. Under the contract the telecommunications provider will supply Vodaphone New Zealand international internet capacity. Vocus advises the contract renewal is for 24 months at a fixed price.. in line with the market.. but the difference between contract prices from last year will impact its annual earnings .While the company expects a $4.5 million reduction in net profit for fiscal 2015 it has affirmed very strong earnings growth expectations for the current financial year. Earlier this month, Vocus agreed to pay $108 million for New Zealand Fibre provider FX Networks. Shares in Vocus have ended 6.55 per cent down at $5.14. 
 
David Jones has emerged from a trading halt today after share holders voted overwhelmingly in favour of the $2.2 billion takeover offer from South African retailer Woolworths Holdings. Solomon Lew did not vote his 9.9 per cent blocking stake after Woolworths agreed to purchase his shares in Country Road for $17 each. David Jones now awaits Federal Court approval for the deal on Thursday. Shares in David Jones have closed1.27 per cent higher at $3.98.
 
iiNet Limited (ASX:IIN) has confirmed acting CEO David Buckingham will take on the role permanently. Mr Buckingham beat out strong contenders from around the globe to lead the company on a new five year growth plan. 
 
Shares in PanAust Limited (ASX:PNA) have slipped as investors await the latest update on takeover talks with its biggest shareholder Guangdong Rising Asset Management.  
 
Buru Energy limited (ASX:BRU) has said it expects the results of a fracking program in Western Australia’s Canning Basin a little later than originally thought due to approval delays. 
 
And Syrah Resources Limited (ASX:SYR) has confirmed takeover talk is just that, and no formal discussions or offers have been received by the mining explorer.
 
Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was real estate investment trusts adding 0.8 per cent to close at 1,100. The worst performing sector was utilities, losing 0.2 per cent to close at 6,015 points.

 
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was NRW Holdings, rising 5.61 per cent to close at $1.03. Shares in Kathmandu and Lynas Corp also closed higher.
 
The worst performing stock was Buru Energy, dropping 9.00 per cent to close at $0.91. Shares in Medusa Mining and Arrium also closed lower. 
 
Commodities

Gold is trading at $US1,320 an ounce. Light crude is $2.10 down at $US100.83 a barrel. The Australian dollar is buying 93.97 US cents.