Market Wrap: ASX lifts on positive earnings

Market Reports

Upbeat earnings results have helped push the ASX nearly one per cent higher today.
Shares in Cochlear jumped into the $100 per share club with the bionic ear maker reporting a better than expected profit and upgraded guidance. 
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 45 points up at 4,821. 
The value of trades was $4.8 billion on volume of 772 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), National Australia Bank Limited (ASX:NAB) and BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP)
On the futures market the SPI is 56 points up. 
Company news
Countplus Limited (ASX:CUP) says now expected full year results to be 20 per cent lower than previous guidance. The accounting firm says its portfolio of businesses is experiencing difficult economic conditions. Higher provisioning charges and an impairment have added to the downgrade. Shares in Countplus ended 15.66 per cent lower at $0.70.  
Mirvac Group (ASX:MGR) reported a massive 69 per cent jump in profit to $472.7 million. Residential sales and acquisitions are behind the result and the property developer says it’s on track for its full year targets. Shares in Mirvac Group closed 2.78 per cent higher at $1.85. 
Virgin Australia Holdings (ASX:VAH) had its best first half result in six years positing a $45.7 million profit, a big turnaround from its $53.1 million loss for the same period last year. 
Transurban International Limited (ASX:TCL) also impressed with a $62 million first half profit compared to a $354 million loss last year.
Suncorp Group Limited (ASX:SUN) recorded a 16 percent slide in first half net profit to $530 million.
Meanwhile Burson Group Limited (ASX:BAP) says it will purchase two businesses, Bearing Wholesalers and Precision Automotive Equipment.
Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was healthcare adding 2.7 per cent to close at 19,008. The worst performing sector was utilities, losing 0.8 per cent to close at 7,007 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Cochlear, rising 14.11 per cent to close at $104.05. Shares in Boral and Oz Minerals also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Tassal Group, dropping 6.13 per cent to close at $3.98 after a disappointing profit result.  Shares in Western Areas and Qube Holdings also closed lower. 

Gold is trading at $US1,208 an ounce. Light crude is $0.49 down at $US27.45 a barrel. The Australian dollar is buying 70.94 US cents. 

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