Market Wrap: Aus shares stay positive

Market Reports

The Australian share market has slowed its progress after midday but still finished higher, up 0.8 per cent.
 
News of stimulus spending in China fed optimism in the local markets which has seen some sharp swings this month, the local market is again edging closer to the psychological barrier of 6,000 points to which it’s come close a number of times this month.
 
Two tech startups hit the market today Touchcorp and OtherLevels were both popular with investors and closed the day at a premium to their offer prices. 
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 45 points up to finish at 5,892. 
 
The value of trades was $6 billion on volume of 853 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Caltex Australia Limited (ASX:CTX), BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP) and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA).
 
On the futures market the SPI is 35 points up.
 
Company news 
 
Shares in Blackmores Limited (ASX:BKL) have jumped as it announces continued strong sales growth for the third quarter of the 2015 financial year. The natural health company says third quarter group sales are expected to be about 10 per cent higher than the prior quarter. Blackmores closed 11.28 per cent up at $54.55 
 
Treasury Wine Estates Limited (ASX:TWE) has announced a series of changes to its supply chain network in Australia and America as part of its cost cutting turnaround. Australia’s largest listed winemaker will consolidate parts of its operations to optimise efficiency and start a sale process for excess assets including wineries.  Shares in TWE closed 0.78 per cent down at $5.12 
 
HFA Holdings Limited (ASX:HFA) has agreed to sell its Australian subsidiary Certitude Global Investments to Ironbark Asset Management. 
 
Ansell Limited (ASX:ANN) has inked a $113 million deal to buy a UK-based protective clothing manufacturer called Microgard. 
 
Cedar Woods Properties Limited (ASX:CWP) have outlined the benefits of the Upper Kedron Development with the Deputy Premier to make a decision on the project at the end of April.
 
Medical technology Rhinomed Limited (ASX:RNO) has inked local wholesale pharmacy distribution with Symbion for its Mute snoring technology. 
 
Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was materials adding 2 per cent to close at 9,227. The worst performing sector was REITs, losing 0.7 per cent to close at 1,286 points.
 
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Primary Health Care Limited (ASX:PRY), rising 7.84 per cent to close at $5.50. Shares in Ozforex Group Limited (ASX:OFX) and OZ Minerals Limited (ASX:OZL) also closed higher.
 
The worst performing stock was G8 Education Limited (ASX:GEM), dropping 5.35 per cent to close at $3.36. Shares in Independence Group (ASX:IGO) and Seven West Media Limited (ASX:SWM) also closed lower. 
 
IPOs 

Touchcorp Limited (ASX:TCH) also started trading today. The digital payments software company floated with an issue price of $1.40, opened at $1.60 and closed at $1.52
 
Also hitting the boards today was OtherLevels Limited (ASX:OLV). The mobile marketing and analytics company floated with an issue price of $0.20, opened at $0.275 and closed at $0.235
 
Genetic Signatures Limited (ASX:GSS) also started trading today. The molecular diagnostics company floated with an issue price of $0.40, opened at $0.48 and closed at $0.485. 
 
Commodities 

Gold is trading at $US1,183 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.19 down at $US48.68 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7634