Market Wrap: ASX advances over session & week

Market Reports

Defying weak leads the Australian share market lifted out of the red to end the session 0.4 per cent higher and week 2.7 per cent stronger. The week was marked by the US Federal Reserve’s monetary policy announcement fuelling speculation about future rate rises. Today all but the telco sector clawed out of the red with the energy sector rebounding from earlier losses to gain 0.6 per cent by close. 
 
Figures
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index gained 25 points today, extending the weekly gain of 161 points to close at 5,976. 
 
The value of trades was $7.5 billion on volume of 1.3 billion shares at the close of trade. 
 
The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX:WPL) and BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP)
 
On the futures market the SPI is 20 points higher.
 
Wall Street
 
America’s major indexes have climbed over the four trading days this week: The Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 1.7 per cent. The S&P 500 Index has gained 1.7 per cent. The NASDAQ has gained 2.4 per cent. The 100 Index has gained 2.5 per cent.
 
Company news
 
Australia’s biggest teleco Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX:TLS) has invested in a Taiwanese-based video data and analytics company called Gorilla Technology Group. The news comes just days after Telstra revealed it has inked a deal to buy a provider of media services for broadcasters in Australasia called Globecast Australia. No financial details of the deals have been disclosed. Shares in Telstra Corporation eased 0.62 per cent to end the week at $6.37. 
 
Myer Holdings Limited (ASX:MYR) has been hit with price target downgrades from analysts one day after the company reported a worse than expected 23 per cent first half profit drop. JP Morgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Morningstar are among those who have adjusted their expectations for the department store retailer. Shares in Myer Holdings fell 2.18 per cent to end the week at $1.34. 
 
Shares in APN News and Media Limited (ASX:APN) rose after media giant News Corp (ASX:NWS) said it plans to boost its stake in the media and outdoor advertising company to almost 15 per cent subject to regulatory approval.
 
Shares in Karoon Gas Australia Limited (ASX:KAR) plunged to the benchmark’s worst performer after the oil and explorer said its Kangaroo West-1 exploration well off the coast of Brazil had intersected no hydrocarbons.
 
Best and worst performers
 
The best performing sector was real estate investment trusts, adding 0.8 per cent to close at 1,336. 
The only sector to close in the red was telco services, losing 0.5 per cent to close at 2,247 points.
 
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Beadell Resources Limited (ASX:BDR), rising 5.88 per cent to close at $0.27. Shares in Ainsworth Game Technology Limited (ASX:AGI) and APN News and Media Limited (ASX:APN) also closed higher.
 
The worst performing stock was Karoon Gas Australia Limited (ASX:KAR), dropping 18.18 per cent to close at $2.16. Shares in Sundance Energy Australia Limited (ASX:SEA) and Whitehaven Coal Limited (ASX:WHC) also closed lower. 
 
Commodities
 
Gold is buying $US1,171 an ounce, up $US11.54 over the week. 
Light crude is $1.04 lower at $US45.61 a barrel. 
 
Currencies 
 
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7684.