It has been a positive start to the week for the local share market and that’s thanks to a rise in commodity prices; the market finished the session 1.04 per cent higher. We’ve seen the materials space do the bulk of the heavy lifting today with solid gains in BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue. The energy space also managed to add some ground, with Santos, Oil Search and Woodside all making small gains. The financials space also added some support to the index, with all of the big four banks finishing the session in the black.
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 53 points higher to finish at 5,143.
The value of trades was $5.6 billion on volume of 980 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 52 points higher.
Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (ASX:LNG)
has announced that its 100 per cent wholly owned subsidiary Gladstone LNG has extended the FLLNG site agreement for lease with the Gladstone Ports Corporation to 31 March 2017. An option to further extend on the same terms through to 31 March 2018 has also been secured. LNG says the lease extension helps the company progress towards recommencing the development of the FLLNG project. LNG closed 2.44 per cent higher at $0.63.
CSL Limited (ASX:CSL)
has announced that the US FDA has approved IDELVION, CSL’s long-acting albumin fusion protein for the treatment of haemophilia B.
Bradken Limited (ASX:BKN)
has announced that it has completed a transaction to acquire a foundry business in India.
Regis Healthcare Limited (ASX:REG)
has contracted to purchase assets from Masonic Care Queensland, effective 1 June 2016 for a net acquisition price of $163 million.
ResApp Health Limited (ASX:RAP)
has partnered up with a humanitarian organisation and UniQuest to field test ResApp’s smartphone-based pneumonia diagnostic tool.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Materials adding 3.1 per cent to close at 7,620. The worst performing sector was REITs, losing 0.3 per cent to close at 1,315 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Fortescue, rising 23.69 per cent to close at $3.08. Shares in Ten Network and Worley Parsons also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Australian Pharmaceuticals, dropping 4.95 per cent to close at $1.73. Shares in Sigma Pharmaceuticals and Technology One also closed lower.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,260 an ounce.
Light crude is $1.35 higher at $US35.92 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7406.