The Australian share market has broken its 3 day losing streak to finish in the black this session. The local bourse revelled on news of a less likely rate hike by the Fed this month, jumped at the open and managed to stay in positive territory for the remainder of the session before closing 1.06 per cent higher. The financials and materials spaces were the star performers this session with gains in all of the big four banks as well as the mining giants BHP and Rio Tinto.
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 57 points higher to finish at 5,430.
The value of trades was $4.6 billion on volume of 727 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX:TLS) and BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP).
On the futures market the SPI is 72 points up.
Inflation in Australia has risen in August according to the latest read from the TD Securities-Melbourne Institute. The gauge rose 0.2 per cent from July and is up 1.2 per cent on last year. Meantime the Australian Bureau of Statistics says we have also seen an increase Job advertisements for August, rising by 1.8 per cent to 4-year highs.
Aristocrat Leisure Limited (ASX:ALL) says it is aware of media reports that it has been named as a party in a potential legal action being led by Maurice Blackburn. The gaming company says it has not received any formal communication and is not able to comment in detail, but would vigorously defend any action brought against it. Aristocrat also emphatically rejects any suggestion that its games are designed to encourage problem gambling. Shares in Aristocrat Leisure closed 1.92 per cent down at $14.79.
Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (ASX:LNG) has announced it has appointed Non-Executive Director Paul Cavicchi to the role of Chairman.
Pact Group Holdings Limited (ASX:PGH) has announced it has entered into an agreement to purchase Australian Pharmaceutical Manufacturers for $90 million.
Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX:WPL) has announced it will acquire half of BHP Billiton’s Scarborough area assets, in a deal worth $400 million.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Materials adding 2.27 per cent to close at 8,735. The worst performing sector was Discretionaries, losing 0.22 per cent to close at 2,198 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Alumina, rising 8.36 per cent to close at $1.49. Shares in Costa Group and Evolution Mining also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Regis Healthcare, dropping 16.67 per cent to close at $3.70. Shares in Japara Healthcare and Estia Health also closed lower.
CoAssets Limited (ASX:CA8) started trading today. The Web-based real estate platform floated with an issue price of $0.40, opened at $0.40 and closed at $0.40.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,326 an ounce.
Light crude is $1.04 higher at $US44.20 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7602.