Market Wrap: Aus shares close 0.33% higher

Market Reports

The Australian share market closed 0.33 per cent higher. Thursday’s rally ran out of steam in afternoon trade. Gains in the financial and healthcare sectors were offset by losses in the materials space as BHP Billiton was forced to deny that mud from the burst dam at its joint venture iron ore mine in Brazil is toxic.
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 17 points up to finish at 5,211. 
 
The value of trades was $4.6 billion on volume of 764 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 16 points up.
 
Company news
 
Slater & Gordon (ASX:SGH) shares slumped as much as 54 percent after the company responded to UK government proposals which could impact the rights of people injured in road traffic accidents to obtain compensation. The law firm told shareholders the company is well positioned to deal with the potential impact of legislature change and does not expect FY16 performance to be affected. Shares in Slater & Gordon closed 51.42 per cent down at $0.94. 
 
Monash IVF Group Limited’s (ASX:MVF) strong performance has prompted the company to forecast a 25 percent lift to first-half net profit. Chief Executive James Thiedeman told shareholders the company has enjoyed a strong rebound in patient treatments and associated revenues in the first quarter of FY16. Shares in Monash IVF closed 18.31 per cent up at $1.68. 
 
Vocation Limited (ASX:VET) has been placed into voluntary administration as the education group’s board said it was clear that current and potential investors are not willing to inject additional funds into the company.
 
Transurban Group's (ASX:TCL) consortium acquisition of Brisbane’s AirportLink M7 received the green light from the Australian competition watchdog.
 
CIMIC Group’s (ASX:CIM) construction company Leighton Contractors has been awarded a contract by the Australian Department of Defence.
 
Sunland Group (ASX:SDG) has announced it has successfully completed its unsecured note offering.

Best and worst performers
 
The best performing sector was Healthcare adding 1.1 per cent to close at 19,649. The worst performing sector was Materials, losing 1.3 per cent to close at 7,144 points.
 
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Virtus Health, rising 6.69 per cent to close at $6.54. Shares in APN News & Media and Pact Group Holdings also closed higher.
 
The worst performing stock was Slater & Gordon, dropping 51.42 per cent to close at $0.94. Shares in Arrium and BHP Billiton also closed lower. 

IPOs
 
IDP Education Limited (ASX:IEL) started trading today. The international education organisation listed with an issue price of $2.65, opened at $3.25 and closed at $3.40.    

Commodities and the dollar
 
Gold is trading at $US1,074an ounce.
Light crude is $0.17 up at $US43.04 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7239

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