The Australian share market has managed to keep its head above water this session and close the day 0.39 per cent higher. The materials space led the charge today with gains in the big miners; this was closely followed by the energy sector which rallied following another jump in the price of Brent Crude overnight.
At the end of the day, the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 22 points up to finish at 5,497. Over the week the index lost 65 points.
The value of trades was $4.2 billion on volume of 608 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 18 points up.
Looking at Wall Street, US major indexes were mixed over the four trading days this week: The Dow Jones Industrial Average has lost 0.4 per cent. The S&P 500 Index has lost 0.4 per cent. The NASDAQ has added 0.1 per cent. The 100 Index has added 0.3 per cent.
The Reserve Bank of Australia says developments in Australia’s housing market was one of the main reasons the central bank cut interest rates by 25 basis points to 1.5 per cent. RBA Governor Glenn Stevens citied the easing in housing credit growth and the diminishment of rapid gains in house prices as one of the main factors. The RBA hasn’t given any future guidance as to whether it will cut again before the end of the year.
Wellard Limited (ASX:WLD) has announced that it has gone into a trading halt pending the release of its profit result for FY16. The livestock exporter announced in June that it was expecting to record FY16 net profit towards the bottom of the range between $23.5 million and $30 million. The company floated on the ASX in December last year at $1.39. Shares in Wellard last traded at $0.40.
Brambles Limited (ASX:BXB) has announced it will combine its oil and gas container businesses with Hoover Container Solutions to create a new joint venture.
Growthpoint Properties Australia (ASX:GOZ) has announced it has entered into two new leases with David Jones and the Country Road Group.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Materials adding 1.7 per cent to close at 8,765. The worst performing sector was REITs, losing 0.8 per cent to close at 1,516 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Downer EDI, rising 6.03 per cent to close at $4.75. Shares in Fortescue and Mantra also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Iron Mountain, dropping 5.89 per cent to close at $50.30. Shares in Navitas and CYBG also closed lower.
PropertyLink Group (ASX:PLK) started trading today. The funds and asset management company listed with an issue price of $0.89, opened at $0.82, and closed at $0.86.
Commodities and the dollar
The price of gold is trading at $US1,364 an ounce, and is down $6.98 over the week. Light crude is $1.10 higher at $US41.93 a barrel. The Australian dollar is buying $0.7658.