Market Wrap: ASX swings back to positive territory

Market Reports


The Australian sharemarket has swung wildly today sinking over 1 per cent on open before recovering to be 0.69 per cent higher at the close. 
 
Gains in the Chinese stockmarket helped the ASX into positive territory through afternoon trade with hopes the rout in Chinese stocks might be over. 
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 36 points up to finish at 5,173. 
 
The value of trades was a whopping $8 billion on volume of 1.41 billion shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank, Spotless Group Holdings (ASX:SPO) after an escrow release and Telstra.
 
On the futures market the SPI is 12 points up.
 
Company news
 
Steadfast Group Limited (ASX:SDF) reported a 38 per cent rise in underlying net profit to $56.7 million. A number of recent acquisitions have helped the bottom line of the insurance broker which lifted its final dividend to 3 cent per share. Shares in Steadfast Group rose 1.01 per cent to $1.50. 
 
Greencross Limited (ASX:GXL) has announced that current CFO Martin Nicholas will replace Jeffrey David as CEO and Managing Director effective immediately. Mr David has led the company since coming across in last year’s merger with the Mammoth Pet and City Farmers business. Shares in Greencross didn’t respond well to the news sinking 13.51 per cent to $6.08. 
 
BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP) has reported a 86 per cent plunge in full year net profits to $US1.91 billion from a record $US13.83 billion in the previous year.
 
Shares in health company Blackmores Limited (ASX:BKL) soared past the $100 dollar mark after it posted an 83 percent lift in net profit to a record $46.6 million thanks to strong sales in China.
 
Seven Group Holdings (ASX:SVW) has reported a net loss of almost $360 million in its full-year results.
 
And Drillsearch Energy Limited (ASX:DLS) has posted a net loss of $8.1 million for the full year well below the profit of $41.9 million the previous year. 
 
Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was energy adding 2.8 per cent to close at 8,904. The worst performing sector was real estate investment trusts, losing 0.6 per cent to close at 1,232 points.
 
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Bradken, rising 13.45 per cent to close at $1.27. Shares in Drillsearch and Whitehaven Coal also closed higher.
 
The worst performing stock was the aforementioned Greencross. Shares in Paladin Energy and UGL also closed lower. 
 

IPOs

Adherium Limited (ASX:ADR) started trading today. The digital health company listed with an issue price of $0.50, opened at $0.55 and a closed at $0.60.    
 
Commodities

Gold is trading at $US1,136 an ounce. Light crude is $1.07 up at $US39.31 a barrel. The Australian dollar is buying 71.27 US cents.