Market Wrap: Aus shares close 0.29% higher

Market Reports

After a sluggish start to the session the local share market has made a turnaround in afternoon trade, finishing the day 0.29 per cent higher. The financials space did most of the heavy lifting with gains in the Commonwealth Bank propping up the index. 
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 15 points higher to finish at 5.133. 
 
The value of trades was $4.7 billion on volume of 707 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 (ASX:WBC).
 
On the futures market the SPI is up 8 points.

Company news

Western Areas Limited (ASX:WSA) has advised that a regional bushfire located about 35 kilometres north of the company’s Forrestania operations has crossed grid lines and has cut off power to the mine site. The company says the fire is of no physical threat to the Forrestania personnel or operations at this time. Shares in Western Areas closed flat at $2.25. 
 
Orica Limited (ASX:ORI) has reported a full-year net loss of $1.27 billion in the 12 months to September.
 
TEN Network Holdings Limited (ASX:TEN) has completed the retail component of its entitlement offer.
 
Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST) has resumed operations at its Paulsens Gold mine in Western Australia.
 
South32 Limited (ASX:S32) has announced the extended closure of the Samancor Manganese joint venture South African mines.
 
Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Utilities adding 0.9 per cent to close at 6,932 The worst performing sector was Materials, losing 1.45 per cent to close at 7,307 points.
 
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Cabcharge, rising 6.23 per cent to close at $2.90. Shares in Mayne Pharma and Slater and Gordon also closed higher.
 
The worst performing stock was Northern Star, dropping 7.87 per cent to close at $2.46. Shares in Paladin Energy and Evolution Mining also closed lower. 

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,069 an ounce.
Light crude is down 62 cents at $US42.17 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying 70.98 US cents.