Flat finish: Aus shares close 0.08% higher

Market Reports

by Carolyn Herbert

It has been a lacklustre end to the trading day for the Australian Share market. Despite positive leads from Wall Street, the local bourse lost momentum throughout the session and ended up closing the day practically flat or 0.08 per cent higher. At the closing bell, the energy space came out on top thanks to an increase in the price of Brent Crude overnight, with the likes of Origin Energy and Santos leading the charge closing up around 4 per cent.

The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 4 points up to finish at 5,480.

The value of trades was $5.2 billion on volume of 781 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX:TLS), BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP) and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA).

On the futures market the SPI is 3 points up.

Economic news

The latest housing finance data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics has shown housing loan approvals for owner-occupiers are at a 15 month low. The number of housing loans dropped 3 per cent in August, following a drop of 4.5 per cent in July.

Company news

BHP Billiton’s (ASX:BHP) investment proposal to acquire a 10 per cent interest in SolGold for $30 million has been rebuffed by the explorer. SolGold says BHP taking a stake in the Cascabel Project in Ecuador is not in the best interest of the company and its shareholders. SolGold says it preferred a US$33 million financing proposal from investment fund Maxit Capital and gold miner Newcrest. Shares in BHP closed 1.71 per cent higher at $23.80.

oOh!media Limited (ASX:OML) has entered a deal for its $68.5 million acquisition of Executive Channel International Pty Ltd.

The Abacus Property Group (ASX:ABP) has established a new investment vehicle to acquire opportunistic industrial assets in major Australian cities along the east coast.

Woolworths Ltd (ASX:WOW) and Hills Ltd (ASX:HIL) have today agreed to end their business relationship.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Energy adding 2.33 per cent to close at 8,937. The worst performing sector was Healthcare, losing 0.94 per cent to close at 21,444 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Monadelphous, rising 8.43 per cent to close at $9.90. Shares in Worley Parsons and Sims Metal Management also closed higher.

The worst performing stock was Estia Health, dropping 6.23 per cent to close at $2.71. Shares in St Barbara and APN Outdoor also closed lower.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,258 an ounce.
Light crude is $1.35 higher at $US51.16 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7559.


Carolyn Herbert

Finance News Network
Carolyn joined FNN in August 2015 as the Head of News and also presented the Market at Midday and the Market Wrap. With more than five years of broadcast journalism experience, Carolyn has worked as a finance anchor on the Sky News Business channel and as an anchor and reporter for ABC News. She is also a qualified corporate lawyer specialising in IPOs, takeovers and mergers and acquisitions.