Market Wrap: Aus shares close 1.1% higher

Market Reports

It’s been a positive session for the local share market today, with most sectors closing in the green, the index gaining 1.1 per cent at the close. The energy space was the star performer this session, with Santos leading the charge jumping around 9 per cent to $4.60. It was also a strong session today for the materials space; with the big miners BHP and Rio Tinto gaining 3 and 2.5 per cent respectively.
 
Today, the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 56 points higher to finish at 5,273. 
 
The value of trades was $6.8 billion on volume of 967 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 Wesfarmers Limited (ASX:WES)
 
On the futures market the SPI is up 47 points.
 
Company news

Atlas Iron Limited (ASX:AGO) says it has had a record performance for the March quarter, with iron ore shipments up 7 per cent on the December quarter. The iron ore miner says the March quarter performance provides further evidence of how Atlas and its shareholders stand to enjoy a brighter future following the successful execution of the planned corporate restructure. Shares in Atlas Iron closed 10 per cent higher at $0.022. 
 
Rhinomed Limited (ASX:RNO) says its continuing to expand its distribution footprint in the USA. The nasal and respiratory technology company says Performance bike- the No1 specialty bike retailer in the USA will begin ranging the Turbine sports breathing technology across its 127 store chain. Shares in Rhinomed closed flat at $0.023. 
 
Brambles Limited (ASX:BXB) has reported sales revenue of $5.1 billion for the nine months to the end of March.
 
New Zealand Oil & Gas Ltd (ASX:NZO) has announced a further upgrade in developed reserves in the Kupe gas and light oil field on the north island of New Zealand.
 
Air New Zealand Limited (ASX:AIZ) says that it is considering selling part, or all, of its shareholdings in Virgin Australia Holdings Limited, and has retained First NZ Capital and Credit Suisse to advise on its options.
 
Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Energy adding 5.7 per cent to close at 8,361. The worst performing sector was Telcos, losing 0.03 per cent to close at 1,996 points.
 
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Santos, rising 9.98 per cent to close at $4.63. Shares in Worley Parsons and Origin Energy also closed higher.
 
The worst performing stock was Mantra, dropping 7.07 per cent to close at $3.81. Shares in MYOB and Stockland also closed lower. 
 
Commdities and the dollar

The price of gold is trading at $US1,256 an ounce.
Light crude is $1.71 higher at $US44.18 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $0.7807.