The Australian share market closed 1.5 per cent higher as bargain hunters grabbed some cheap stocks and gave the banks a good bounce following yesterday’s rout.
Reporting season is in full swing with a mixed bag of results on the table today including Seek.
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 77 points higher to finish at 5,380.
The value of trades was $5.6 billion on volume of 770 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA)
ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ)
and Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC)
On the futures market the SPI is 80 points up.
says underlying profit is up 9.4 per cent to $608 million thanks mainly to the housing boom. Profits in the residential business soared 73 per cent while commercial property was also strong, achieving growth of over 4 per cent. Shares in Stockland closed nearly half a per cent up at $4.18.
Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX:WPL)
slashed its dividend to US 66 cents from US$1.11 on the back of falling oil and gas prices causing a 39 per cent drop in first half profit. The company warned the oil market is likely to remain in oversupply for the medium term but said it has lifted reserves and remains ‘resilient’ as it works to further reduce costs. Shares in Woodside gained 2.53 per cent to $32.86.
Mortgage Choice Limited (ASX:MOC)
says it has managed to capitalise on industry tailwinds to grow its core business and record it’s best ever settlements result. The company produced an annual profit of $18.9 million, slightly below the $19.8 achieved in 2014.
Federation Centres (ASX:FDC)
has seen a jump in profit to $675 million from last year’s $400 million thanks to its tie up with Novion Property Group.
The Reject Shop Limited (ASX:TRS)
says it is in the midst of a strong rebound as the company reported a 6.4 per cent jump in total sales to $757 million and unveiled a new store format.
And investors hit the sell button on SEEK Limited (ASX:SEK)
after the jobs website warned of slower earnings and revenue growth next year despite a 44 per cent lift in net profit.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was energy adding nearly 3 per cent to close at 9,790. The worst performing sector was consumer discretionary, losing 0.04 per cent to close at 1,860 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Ainsworth Gaming Technology on the back of yesterday results showing strong international growth. The poker machine company rose 14.23 per cent to close at $3.21. Shares in Treasury Wine Estates and Whitehaven Coal also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Seek, dropping 10.96 per cent to close at $12.27. Shares in Genworth Mortgage Insurance and Pacific Brands also closed lower.
Paradigm Biopharmaceuticals Limited (ASX:PAR)
started trading today. The drug company listed with an issue price of $0.35, opened at $0.40 and a closed at $0.37.
Gold is trading at $US1,119 an ounce. Light crude is 71 cents stronger at $US43.12 a barrel. The Australian dollar is buying 73.44 US cents.