Following strong leads from Wall Street overnight, the Australian share market has had a bumper session, closing the day 2.29 per cent higher. Energy stocks were once again the star performers after a jump in the oil price overnight, but all sectors finished in positive territory. Upbeat comments from the Reserve Bank in relation to Australia’s economy also helped to spur on investor sentiment.
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 114 points higher to finish at 5,118.
The value of trades was $5.2 billion on volume of 809 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC)
, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA)
and Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX:TLS)
On the futures market the SPI is 133 points higher.
The Reserve Bank of Australia has released the board minutes for its November 3rd meeting where it once again decided to keep interest rates on hold at a record low of 2 per cent. In the minutes, the central bank reiterated that the slowing economy in Asia would be more persistent than expected and the outlook for China remained one of the key uncertainties in forecasting global growth. In terms of domestic conditions, the RBA noted that employment growth had been stronger than expected over 2015 and overall, the low level of interest rates continued to support the housing market.
Incitec Pivot Limited (ASX:IPL)
has announced the execution of a long term gas supply agreement for its Phosphate Hill manufacturing plant in North West Queensland. The contract has been entered into as part of the North East Gas Interconnector pipeline project and will provide conventional gas to Incitec Pivot’s Phosphate Hill plant for approximately ten years. Shares in Incitec Pivot closed 4.86 per cent higher at $3.88.
Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC)
has completed the retail component of its fully underwritten pro rata accelerated renounceable entitlement offer.
Ainsworth Game Technology Limited (ASX:AGI)
has entered into a binding agreement to acquire 100 percent of the equity of US based privately-held Nova Technologies.
AusNet Services (ASX:AST)
has reported a net profit of $374.5 million in the six months to September 30.
Empired Limited (ASX:EPD)
has secured a contract with the Victorian Department of Education and Training, valued at $10 million.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Energy adding 3.7 per cent to close at 8,526. The sector with the least gains was Staples, gaining 1.7 per cent to close at 8,097 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Greencross, rising 9.57 per cent to close at $6.30. Shares in Origin Energy and Seven Group also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Mesoblast, dropping 2.86 per cent to close at $2.04. Shares in ALS and QBE also closed lower.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,082 an ounce.
Light crude is up $1.10 at $US43.10 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying 70.87 US cents.