Market Wrap: Aus shares close 1.64% higher

Market Reports

It has been stellar start to the week for the local share market, opening in the black and continuing to make solid gains throughout the session; closing 1.64 per cent higher. The materials space has been the star performer today with BHP jumping almost 6 per cent. It’s also been a solid session for the big four banks after sustaining heavy losses last week; ANZ has led the charge closing around 2.7 per cent higher. 
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 78 points higher to finish at 4,844. 
 
The value of trades was $5.34 billion on volume of 768 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ) and Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC)
 
On the futures market the SPI is 88 points up.
 
Company news

Fonterra Cooperative Group (ASX:FSF) says milk collection in Australia has decreased by 5 per cent and by 2 per cent in New Zealand. The company says dairy exports remain strong for Australia and Europe but the United States is down largely due to increased domestic demand.Shares in Fonterra closed steady at $5.17. 
 
Aurizon Holdings Limited (ASX:AZJ) has reported a net loss of $108 million for the first half of the 2016 financial year. 
 
Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) has reported a 55 per cent decline in profit to US$81 million for the six months to 31 December 2015.
 
AusNet Services (ASX:AST) has agreed to pay Origin Energy (ASX:ORG) $110 million for the Mortlake Terminal Power station in Victoria. 
 
Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Materials adding 4.44 per cent to close at 6,751. The worst performing sector was Telcos, losing 2.08 per cent to close at 1,976 points.
 
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Amcor, rising 9.57 per cent to close at $13.40. Shares in Western Areas and AWE also closed higher.
 
The worst performing stock was Aurizon, dropping 11.17 per cent to close at $3.42. Shares in Regis Resources and Austal also closed lower. 
 
IPOs

Tesserent Limited (ASX:TNT) started trading today. The internet security company floated with an issue price of $0.20, opened at $0.21 and closed at $0.20.    
 
Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,219 an ounce.
Light crude is $3.08 higher at $US31.91 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7155.