Positive leads lifted the Australian share market at open and the benchmark ended 0.8 per cent higher by close. Mining and energy sectors led broad-based gains on the back of a stronger iron ore price.
On the economic front building approvals were shown to have dropped much more than expected last month. The ABS reported approvals declined 8.2 per cent June, representing the biggest monthly fall since September last year.
The S&P/ASX 200 index gained 45 points to close at 5,670.
The value of trades was $4.4 billion on volume of 640 million shares at the close of trade.
The top three stocks by value were BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP)
, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA)
and Westpac Banking Corporation Limited (ASX:WBC)
On the futures market the SPI is 34 points higher.
Shares in GUD Holdings Limited (ASX:GUD)
ended as the day’s best performer after boosting its annual profit and forecasting a further substantial uplift in financial performance in FY16. The appliance manufacturer boosted its net profit by 88 per cent to $33.2 million in the 2015 financial year. Shares in GUD Holdings spiked 10.87 per cent to close at $9.38.
Estia Health Limited (ASX:EHE)
has expanded its footprint in Victoria through four new acquisitions. The residential aged care operator will pay $181.1 million for the assets which will take the company to 53 facilities. Shares in Estia Health rose 3.79 per cent to close at $6.03.
Online job outsourcing company Freelancer Limited (ASX:FLN)
has delivered a record revenue and gross payment volume result in the first half of the 2015 calendar year.
Infrastructure and construction firm Watpac Limited (ASX:WTP)
has inked a $95 million contract with JGL Properties to work on the Newstead Series residential project in Brisbane.
Oil and gas group AWE Limited (ASX:AWE)
has posted an annual output drop but confirmed its on track to almost double output by 2018 to 10 million barrels of oil equivalent.
Drug developer Novogen Limited’s (ASX:NRT, NASDAQ:NVGN) newly appointed acting CEO has confirmed its commitment to bringing technology platforms to the clinic.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was energy, adding 2.3 per cent to close at 10,996.
The worst performing sector was health care, losing 0.6 per cent to close at 19,236 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was GUD Holdings Limited (ASX:GUD)
, rising 10.87 per cent to close at $9.38. Shares in Paladin Energy Limited (ASX:PDN)
and Karoon Gas Australia Limited (ASX:KAR)
also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Ten Network Holdings Limited (ASX:TEN)
, dropping 4.65 per cent to close at $0.21. Shares in Arrium Limited (ASX:ARI)
and UGL Limited (ASX:UGL)
also closed lower.
Kina Securities Limited (ASX:KSL)
started trading today. The diversified financial services provider in Papua New Guinea floated with an issue price of $1.00, opened at $1.30 and closed at $1.30.
Gold is buying $US1,089 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.81 higher at $US48.79 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7307.