Market Wrap: Aus shares close 1.27% higher

Market Reports

Finally the local share market has broken its eight day losing streak and has managed to close the day in positive territory or 1.27 per cent higher. Investors jumped in to pick up depleted energy stocks after the sector was hit after a drop in the price of oil yesterday, but it was really the big four banks that were the star performers. No such relief for BHP shareholders however, with the mining giant losing 1.5 per cent this session. 
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 62 points higher to finish at 4,987. 
The value of trades was $4.5 billion on volume of 736 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 61 points higher.
Economic news

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released data on job vacancies for the month of November, saying the number of jobs advertised has reached its highest level in more than three years. There were 167,600 vacancies for the month, up 3.5 per cent from August. 
Company news

Sunland Group (ASX:SDG) has acquired a prime 6 hectare development site in Ingleside in Sydney’s Northern Beaches for $7.25 million. The transaction represents Sunland’s third residential site acquisition and increases the Group’s Sydney portfolio to more than 420 dwellings with an estimated end value of $408 million.Shares in Sunland Group closed 1.54 per cent lower at $1.59. 
CIMIC Group (ASX:CIM) says it intends to make an unconditional offer to acquire 63.01 per cent of Sedgman that it doesn’t already own pursuant to an off-market takeover. Limited (ASX:RNT), recorded more than 480 thousand unique visitors to the website during December, maintaining a strong level of visitors during the typically quieter Christmas holiday season.
Cromwell Property Group (ASX:CMW) has extended its on-market buy-back as part of its ongoing capital management program.
Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Energy adding 2.2 per cent to close at 7,460. The worst performing sector was Materials, losing 0.3 per cent to close at 6,203 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Spotless Group, rising 15.26 per cent to close at $1.09. Shares in Beach Energy and Alumina also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Whitehaven Coal, dropping 9.4 per cent to close at $0.53. Shares in Northern Star and Aurizon also closed lower. 
Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,084 an ounce.
Light crude is $1.00 lower at $US31.52 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7025.

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