The Australian share market ended 0.83 per cent higher, edging closer to the all important 6000 mark. The big four banks were higher today whilst miners also garnered investor favour.
Commodity prices were stronger overnight and Chinese iron ore futures are also posting gains meanwhile Fortescue Metals Group continues to surge following a bond issue last week.
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 49 points up to finish at 5983.
The value of trades was $4.9 billion on volume of 706 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP)
, ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ)
and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RIO)
On the futures market the SPI is 35 points up.
Hardware and equipment supplier Hills Limited (ASX:HIL)
has downwardly revised full year guidance by about 40 per cent to between $11 million to $14 million. Hills says continued delays in project starts and project deferrals across the construction, health and mining sectors along with Government spending and the declining Aussie dollar have hit the bottom line. Shares in Hills closed 17.72 per cent down at $0.65.
iiNet Limited (ASX:IIN)
has a choice of suitors after M2 Group Limited (ASX:MTU)
confirmed a rival bid for the telecommunications company. iiNet had accepted an all cash offer of $8.60 per share from TPG Telecom (ASX:TPM)
. The M2 Group all scrip offer of $11.52 values iiNet at $1.8billion.
Shares in iiNet leapt 13.16 per cent to $9.80 on the news.
Online retailer SurfStitch Group Limited (ASX:SRF)
says it has completed its European Integration plan ahead of schedule and lifted its EBITA guidance by 37 per cent.
Embattled transport company McAleese Limited (ASX:MCS)
will extend its trading halt for five days as it works on a range of scenarios regarding haulage from the recently suspended Atlas mines operations.
Freelancer Limited (ASX:FLN)
has agreed to pay $9.5 million for a California-based company provides that online escrow services for secure e-commerce.
And Capitol Health limited (ASX:CAJ)
has made further inroads into the NSW marketplace after the purchase of two Sydney Radiology businesses. .
Best and worst performers
All sectors made gains today. The best performing sector was materials adding 1.7 per cent to close at 9,611. The sector with the least gains was healthcare, adding 0.2 per cent to close at 19,508 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Fortescue Metals, rising 16.29 per cent to close at $2.57. Shares in iiNet and Sirius Resources also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Northern Star Resources, dropping 6.28 per cent to close at $2.09. Shares in TPG Telecom and M2 Group also closed lower.
Gold is trading at $US1,183 an ounce. Light crude is $0.59 cents down at $US57.15 a barrel. The Australian dollar is buying 78.26 US cents.