The Australian share market followed negative leads to open lower this morning until news that Warren Burrfet’s Berkshire Hathaway was investing in Australian business after a deal with IAG sparked a turnaround.
Stock rose strongly but managed to give up all those gains to end flat in afternoon trade when RBA minutes disappointed with no real clues on future interest rate moves and concerns of a possible Greek default gathered pace.
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 3 points down to finish at 5,536.
The value of trades was $5.2 billion on volume of 799 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC)
, Insurance Australia Group Limited (ASX:IAG)
and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA)
On the futures market the SPI is 16 points down.
Minutes from the RBA’s June interest rate meeting do not reveal any insight into future moves of the cash rate. However the RBA indicated there is uncertainty that the recent interest rate moves have been enough given the current state of the economy and ‘… hence whether the current stance of policy would most effectively foster sustainable growth and inflation consistent with the target.’’
Insurance Australia Group Limited (ASX:IAG)
today announced a 10-year 20 per cent quota share agreement Berkshire Hathaway. Warren Buffets company will take a 3.7 per cent stake in IAG via a $500 million share placement. Shares in IAG jumped 4.31 per cent to $5.81 on the news.
Amcom Telecommunications Limited (ASX:AMM)
has fought off opposition of its $1.2 billion merger with Vocus Communications Limited (ASX:VOC)
. from stakeholder TPG Telecom. A spirited mailing and social media campaign by Amcom spurred unanimous support from Amcom shares holders for the merger. Shares in Amcom surged 14.66 per cent to $2.66.
Monadelphous Group Limited (ASX:MND)
is lodging a $200 million counterclaim in response to a $130 million claim filed against it by Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal.
Tabcorp Holdings Limited (ASX:TAH)
is once again refusing to broadcast thoroughbred racing in Victoria on its Sky Racing channel in a standoff with Racing Victoria over the media rights of horse races.
Westpac Banking Corporation Limited (ASX:WBC)
has announced its selling down it stake in BT Investment Management.
And ship builder Austal Limited (ASX:ASB)
has won a $26 million contract to build a high speed Catamaran Crew boar for a SE Asian operator.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was utilities adding 1 per cent to close at 6,619. The worst performing sector was energy, losing 1.3 per cent to close at 11,234 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Northern Star Resources, rising 6.26 per cent to close at $2.21. Shares in IAG and Spotless Group also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Mineral Resources, dropping 8.02 per cent to close at $7.00. Shares in Karoon Gas and Monadelphous also closed lower.
Gold is trading at $US1,185 an ounce. Light crude is $0.40 down at $US60.00 a barrel. The Australian dollar is buying 77.41 US cents