The Australian share market has managed to finish the session in positive territory as some bargain hunters stepped in following yesterday’s sell off. It looked touch and go mid way through the session, but the local bourse managed to find a little momentum in the last couple of hours of trade and ended up closing the day 0.41 per cent higher. The Energy space did the bulk of the heavy lifting this session followed by Utilities. However these gains were muted following continued selling in the Telcos space, in Telstra (ASX:TLS) and TPG Telecom (ASX:TPM) in particular.
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 24 points up to finish at 5,708.
The value of trades was $5 billion on volume of 798 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 Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC).
On the futures market the SPI is 21 points up.
Webster Limited (ASX:WBA) has expanded its wholly owned walnut orchard portfolio, announcing the acquisition of a 250 hectare walnut orchard in Tabbita, New South Wales. Webster will acquire the Motspur Park Orchard, water entitlement and plant and equipment for a total consideration of $23.1 million. The total purchase price will comprise of both cash and scrip, of which the cash component will be fully funded from existing debt facilities. Shares in Webster Limited closed 1.72 per cent higher at $1.48.
Washington H. Soul Pattinson (ASX:SOL) reported its NPAT rose 56.1% to $149 million for H1 2017.
Collins Foods Ltd (ASX:CKF), through its subsidiary CFE Investments, has signed a deal to acquire 16 KFC restaurants in the Netherlands.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has decided not to oppose the proposed acquisition of Pulse Health (ASX:PHG) by Australia’s third largest private hospital operator, Healthe Care Australia.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Energy adding 1.32 per cent to close at 8,851. The worst performing sector was Telcos, losing 0.66 per cent to close at 1,599 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Australian Agriculture (ASX:AAL), rising 3.92 per cent to close at $1.59. Shares in South32 (ASX:S32) and JB Hi Fi (ASX:JBH) also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Asaleo Care (ASX:AHY), dropping 4.8 per cent to close at $1.58. Shares in Fletcher Building (ASX:FBU) and Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) also closed lower.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,246 an ounce. Light crude is $0.08 lower at $US48.16 a barrel. The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7662.