The Australian share market soared more than 1 per cent today to end the week on a high. On the economic front new home sales were shown to have risen to a five-year high in April. Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) data revealed the growth of total credit slowed in April despite record low rates. In the week ahead the RBA will hand down its monthly interest rate decision amid expectations rates will remain on hold.
The S&P/ASX 200 index advanced 64 points today, extending the weekly gain of 113 points to close at 5,777.
The value of trades was $9.2 billion on volume of $1.23 billion shares at the close of trade.
The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA)
National Australia Bank Limited (ASX:NAB)
and Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC)
On the futures market the SPI is 55 points higher.
America’s major indices have put in a mixed trading performance over the four trading days this week: The Dow Jones Industrial Average has lost 0.6 per cent. The S&P 500 Index has lost 0.25 per cent. The NASDAQ has added 0.2 per cent. The 100 Index has added 0.2 per cent.
Downer EDI Limited (ASX:DOW)
has won a $180 million contract from United Energy. Under the award the engineering company will provide 24/7 network operations and maintenance and augmentation services covering 300,000 consumers. Shares in Downer EDI dipped 0.19 per cent to end the week at $5.15.
Agricultural chemicals group Nufarm Limited’s (ASX:NUF)
UK business has secured distribution rights for Sumitomo Products. Under the deal Nufarm will distribute a range of crop protection products in the UK and Ireland from next month. Shares in Nufarm slipped 1.15 per cent to end the week at $7.75.
Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC)
has formalised a deal with Mark Bouris’ technology company TZ Limited (ASX:TZL)
to cover the on-going supply of day locker products and services to the bank.
Medical device manufacturer Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corporation Limited (ASX:FPH)
has reported a record annual result and forecast robust revenue growth in the year ahead.
Best and worst performers
All sectors ended higher - The best performing sector was financials excluding REITs, rising 1.5 per cent to close at 7,600.
The sector with the smallest gains was consumer staples, adding 0.1 per cent to close at 9,112 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Ten Network Holdings Limited (ASX:TEN)
, rising 6.67 per cent to close at $0.24. Shares in Pacific Brands Limited (ASX:PBG)
and Transpacific Industries Group Limited (ASX:TPI)
also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was MMA Offshore Limited (ASX:MRM)
, dropping 6.15 per cent to close at $0.61. Shares in UGL Limited (ASX:UGL)
and Kathmandu Holdings Limited (ASX:KMD)
also closed lower.
The price of gold is buying $US1,189 an ounce, down $19.62 over the week.
Light crude is $0.17 higher at $US57.68 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $0.7669, down $0.0259 over the week.