Market Wrap: Aus shares close higher

Market Reports

The Australian share market closed higher today, up .7% helped by the RBA’s decision to keep rates on hold. The S&P/ASX 200 Index is up 30 points to finish at 4,572. And on the futures market, the SPI200 is up 32 points. In economic news: The RBA today announced that interest rates will be kept on hold for the third consecutive month. To company news around this afternoon: Shares in Brisconnections (ASX:BCS) last traded at $1.09. Brisconnections says it expects to report net profit after tax of between $15 - 19 million. Total capitalisation and financing costs are expected to be around $1.8 billion, including the capitalisation of $551 million of construction work, for the six months to 30 June. Brisconnections says total expenditure represents over 50% of construction on the airport link, Northern busways and airport roundabout upgrade. The company advised net profit earned was largely the result of interest earned on cash reserves and accounting for non-cash amortisation of interest. As construction continues and cash reserves decline, Brisconnections says interest revenue has and will decline. Brisconnections reported a profit of $42.9 million for the year ended 30 June 2009. Metal Storm Ltd (ASX:MST) has been awarded a multi-million dollar production contract to supply non-lethal ammunition for jails in Papua New Guinea. The Defence company says the supply of weapons and rounds is valued at US$3.4 million and will be delivered by early next year. Chairman Terry O’Dwyer says international interest is building in Metal Storm’s weapon systems, and the company expects to identify more opportunities in the future. Shares in Metal Storm closed 22.22% up, at just over one cent. Nexus Energy Ltd (ASX:NXS) has responded to claims that it is the subject of a $480 million take-over bid from Royal Dutch Shell, and says it has not been approached, nor is it in any discussions regarding a takeover. Linc Energy Ltd (ASX:LNC) has entered a trading halt pending an announcement regarding the stake of one of its non-core coal tenements in Queensland. Hills Industries Ltd (ASX:HIL) has posted a 323% increase in net profit after tax to $40.2 million for the year ended 30 June 2010. Rio Tinto Ltd (ASX:RIO) has announced it will invest US$170 million for the next stage of the Simandou iron ore project in Guinea. In the best and worst performers: Most indices closed in the black today. The best performing sector at close was the Real Estate Investment Trusts index, up 12 points at 877. The worst performing sector was the Health Care index, down 74 points at 8,211. The best performing stock in the S&P/ ASX200 was Hills Industries shares rose 11.06% to $2.41. Shares in Perseus Mining and Aquila Resources also closed higher. The worst performing stock was Spark Infrastructure Group, shares fell 3.64% to close at $1.19. Shares in Crane Group and OM Holdings also closed weaker today. In commodities, gold is trading at $1183 U.S an ounce, and light crude is up $0.09 at $81.43 U.S a barrel.

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