Market Wrap: Aus shares close 1% higher

Market Reports

Following positive leads from Wall Street, the Australian share market opened the day in the black and managed to maintain that momentum in afternoon trade, closing the day 1 per cent higher. Once again it was the big banks that did the bulk of the heavy lifting, in particular CBA. Also a good day for energy stocks after we saw a bounce in the price of Brent crude overnight. 
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 53 points higher to finish at 5,320. 
 
The value of trades was $3.1 billion on volume of 417 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA, Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC) and ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ)
 
On the futures market the SPI is 37 points up.

Company news
 
Australian Natural Proteins Limited (ASX:AYB) has informed the market that there is no reason behind the tripling in the company’s share price today. The company has put it down to an interest in dairy companies at the moment after the share price of companies like A2 Milk and Bellamy’s performed well over the past few weeks. Shares in Australian Natural Proteins closed 373.68 per cent higher at $0.09. 
 
Byron Energy Limited (ASX:BYE) says commitments have been received to raise $4.5 million through a placement of 29.9 million shares.
 
Gas2Grid Limited (ASX:GGX) says its pleased to announce that a judge in France has ruled to suspend a decision made by the French government not to renew the St Griede permit in France.
 
Excelsior Gold Limited (ASX:EXG) has received the first part payment from Norton Gold Fields, relating to ore mined from the Kalgoorlie North Gold Project and treated at Norton’s Paddington Mill.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Healthcare adding 1.4 per cent to close at 19,954. The sector with the least gains was Materials, gaining 0.15 per cent to close at 7,075 points.
 
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Sandfire Resources, rising 7.69 per cent to close at $5.88. Shares in Karoon Gas and Beach Energy also closed higher.
 
The worst performing stock was Bluescope Steel, dropping 4.88 per cent to close at $4.29. Shares in Northern Star and Domino’s also closed lower. 
 
Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,071 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.52 higher at $US37.33 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7295.