The local market pushed higher today to close 0.9 per cent up as bargain hunters stepped in to end a string of negative days.
Healthcare offered support as did the miners; Cochlear maintained its momentum to head higher along with CSL.
James Hardie made gains on dividend news while Cardno remained out of favour.
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 52 points up to finish at 5,662.
The value of trades was $5.5 billion on volume of 891 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were National Australia Bank Limited (ASX:NAB)
, Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC)
and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA)
On the futures market the SPI is 58 points up.
James Hardie Industries (ASX:JHX)
made solid gains today as it reported an annual profit rise, announced it will pay a special dividend, and also, unveiled a new share buyback program. The building materials manufacturer booked a net profit of $US291.3 million, growing from $US99.5 million the year before. James Hardie closed 11.63 per cent up at $16.99
Also higher today was Domino's Pizza Enterprises Limited (ASX:DMP)
on news it’s adding 3,000 new jobs, the biggest intake in its history, ahead of an anticipated increase in deliveries. The pizza maker expects volumes to grow when it introduces its GPS Driver Tracker technology across all 600 stores in Australia in July and New Zealand in August. Shares in Dominos closed 3.93 per cent up at $38.88
Federation Centres Limited (ASX:FDC)
has scored the ACCC’s green light to merge with Novion Property Group (ASX:NVN)
, formerly CFS Retail Property Trust Group.
Warrnambool Cheese & Butter Factory (ASX:WCB)
has grown its profit and earnings over the first nine months of the 2015 financial year.
Shares in WorleyParsons Limited (ASX:WOR)
have risen after announcing the settlement of the Arkutun- Dagi dispute.
Service Stream Limited (ASX:SSM)
has gained after providing an outlook on its earnings expectations.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was healthcare adding 2.1 per cent to close at 18,832. The worst performing sector was REITs, losing 0.06 per cent to close at 1,277 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was James Hardie Industries (ASX:JHX)
as mentioned earlier. Shares in Arrium Limited (ASX:ARI)
and Mineral Resources Limited (ASX:MIN)
also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Cardno Limited (ASX:CDD)
, dropping 5.6 per cent to close at $2.36. Shares in Bradken Limited (ASX:BKN)
and G8 Education Limited (ASX:GEM)
also closed lower.
Wealth Defender Equities Limited (ASX:WDE)
started trading today. The investment company listed with an issue price of $1.00, opened at $1.00 and a closed at $0.99.
Also XPD Soccer Gear Group Limited (ASX:XPD)
started trading today. The sportswear company listed with an issue price of $0.20, opened at $0.30 and a closed at $0.38
Gold is trading at $US1,210 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.77 up at $US58.76 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7898