Following positive leads from Wall Street, the local share market opened the day in the black and managed to keep its head above water for the remainder of the session closing 0.59 per cent higher. The energy space was the star performer this session after a 5 per cent increase in the price of oil overnight, resulting in solid gains in Santos and Origin Energy. Not such a good day for the Healthcare space however, with losses across the board.
Today, the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 29 points higher to finish at 5,006.
Over the week the index added 90 points.
The value of trades was $6.8 billion on volume of 942 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA)
, CSL Limited (ASX:CSL)
and National Australia Bank Limited (ASX:NAB)
On the futures market the SPI is 38 points up.
Looking at Wall Street, US major indexes have fallen over the four trading days this week: The Dow Jones Industrial Average has lost 0.15 per cent. The S&P 500 Index has slipped 0.7 per cent. The NASDAQ has retreated 1.9 per cent. The 100 Index has lost 1.8 per cent.
Private sector credit for the month of December has fallen short of economists’ expectations, according to latest figures from the Reserve Bank of Australia. Private Sector Credit increased 0.5 per cent for the month, compared to 0.4 per cent in November. Economists had forecasted a rise of 0.6 per cent for December.
Armour Energy Limited (ASX:AJQ)
says all of the conditions precedent relating to the Northern Territory tenements the subject of a farm-out agreement with AEGP Australia, have been satisfied. AEGP is currently seeking a number of rulings in respect of the Farm-out agreement in the Supreme Court of Queensland. Shares in Armour Energy closed flat at $0.105.
Atlas Iron Limited (ASX:AGO)
has acknowledged all of the challenges it has faced in its December quarterly report, but says the company will become more sustainable.
Decmil Group Limited (ASX:DCG)
has entered into an exclusive accommodation agreement with ConocoPhillips.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Energy adding 5.3 per cent to close at 7,511. The worst performing sector was Healthcare, losing 1.8 per cent to close at 19,331 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Fortescue, rising 13.82 per cent to close at $1.73. Shares in Santos and Oil Search also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Northern Star, dropping 10.3 per cent to close at $2.96. Shares in Magellan Financial and Newcrest also closed lower.
Commodities and the dollar
The price of gold is trading at $US1,114 an ounce, and is up $17.20 over the week.
Light crude is $1.42 higher at $US33.72 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying US$0.7116 and is 1.1 cent higher over the week.