It has been a flat finish for the Australian share market this session, following Wall Street’s soft close on Friday. The local bourse jumped higher at the open but slowly lost momentum throughout the session before closing relatively flat or 0.15 per cent higher. Today it was the telcos that did the bulk of the heavy lifting with gains in Telstra and Vocus Communications. Consumer Discretionaries were hit the hardest with losses in A2 Milk and JB Hi-Fi.
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 8 points up to finish at 5,475.
The value of trades was $4.1 billion on volume of 615 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX:TLS), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) and ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ).
On the futures market the SPI is 7 points higher.
Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) has announced it has agreed to acquire BC Iron’s 75 per cent interest in the Nullagine Joint Venture. The iron ore miner will assess the viability of restarting operations, having regard to ongoing market conditions. FMG will pay BC Iron a royalty from sales of iron ore mined in the future which will be partially withheld up to $7.5 million. Shares in Fortescue closed 1.82 per cent higher at $5.03.
Origin Energy Limited (ASX:ORG) has announced its joint venture project, Australia Pacific LNG, has produced its first LNG cargo from the second production train at Curtis Island, Gladstone.
CIMIC Group Limited (ASX:CIM) has launched a takeover bid for UGL, after purchasing a 13.84 percent stake in the company in early Monday morning trade.
Mobile Embrace Limited (ASX:MBE) has announced it is expanding its direct carrier billing operations into Bahrain via a partnership with VIVA Bahrain, a subsidiary of Saudi Telecom.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Telcos adding 1.05 per cent to close at 1,812. The worst performing sector was Discretionaries, losing 0.92 per cent to close at 2,188 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was BT Investment Management, rising 8.11 per cent to close at $9.60. Shares in Syrah Resources and Resolute Mining also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Infigen Energy, dropping 5.19 per cent to close at $0.73. Shares in Independence Group and Bellamy’s Australia also closed lower.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,263 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.89 lower at $US49.55 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7596.