It has been the sixth straight session in the black for the Australian share market; defying a lack lustre lead from Wall Street and bouncing at the open. The local bourse managed to maintain that momentum throughout the session before closing 0.43 per cent higher. Today it was the big banks and the healthcare spaces that did the bulk of the heavy lifting; this was offset however by losses in the big miners BHP and Rio Tinto.
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 23 points up to finish at 5,412.
The value of trades was $4.5 billion on volume of 638 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 Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX:TLS).
On the futures market the SPI is up 23 points.
The unemployment rate in Australia has ticked up to 5.8 per cent in June according to latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Only 7,900 new jobs were added for the month of June, which fell short of economist expectations.
Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX:WPL) has entered into a binding Sale and Purchase Agreement with ConocoPhillips to acquire all of ConocoPhillips interests in Senegal for the purchase price of US$350 million, plus a completion adjustment of approximately US$80 million. The acquisition includes the option for Woodside to operate the future development of any resource. Shares in Woodside closed 1.07 per cent lower at $26.75.
BSA Limited (ASX:BSA), has signed a 5-year contract with nbn co limited to deliver telecommunications infrastructure.
Mobile commerce company, Mobile Embrace Limited (ASX:MBE) has entered an agreement with Telenor Pakistan, which it says will expand its international direct carrier billing operations.
Financial services company, Hub24 Ltd (ASX:HUB), has released its quarterly business update, saying it had record annual retail net inflows for the 2016 FY, totaling $1.6 billion.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Healthcare adding 1.2 per cent to close at 21,655. The worst performing sector was Materials, losing 1.3 per cent to close at 8,806 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Bluescope, rising 7.24 per cent to close at $7.85. Shares in Bellamy’s and Sigma Pharma also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Incitec Pivot, dropping 8.95 per cent to close at $2.85. Shares in Orica and Fortescue also closed lower.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,334 an ounce.
Light crude is down $2.13 at $US45.44 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7621.