It has been an upbeat day of trade for the Australian share market with the All Ords dancing above the 59-hundred point mark. It was all green from the get go, after opening higher in the black, the local bourse managed to maintain steam before dipping after midday, then rebounding to close 0.39 per cent higher.
Early steam came from the energy sector after US crude inventories rose overnight, but the Consumer Staples space flexed its muscle, proving to the be the strongest performer this session, with Coca-Cola Amatil (ASX:CCL) advancing 2.2%.
The only drag on the market was from the Utilites and Industrials, with the likes of Mcmillan Shakespeare (ASX:MMS) shedding over 3%.
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 23 points up to finish at 5,896.
Value of trades
$5.6 billion on volume of 767 million shares at the close of trade.
The top three stocks by value
Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), National Australia Bank Limited (ASX:NAB) and ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ).
On the futures market the SPI is 28 points up.
Local economic news
The ABS reported Job vacancies climbed both on a quarterly and year-on year-basis, with vacancies rising 2.6% to 186,400 in February. Year-on-year job vacancies edged 9.4% higher to February 2017, largely fueled by a double digit increase in public sector job openings.
The ABS also announced its Finance and Wealth quarterly stats. Household deposits hit a whopping $1 trillion in the December 2016 quarter. Non-financial corporations also invested $52.3 billion, while households invested $41.6 billion
The Housing Industry Association (HIA) announced new home sales edged up in February, by a seasonally adjusted 0.2%, with Victoria and Western Australia seeing the strongest growth. When it came to the breakdown, home sales dipped 0.1% from the month prior, while apartment sales edged 1% higher.
To Company news
Afterpay Holdings Limited (ASX:AFY) has entered into a merger agreement with touch platform business, Touchcorp Limited (ASX:TCH). The companies agreed to merge under a new Australian company called, “Afterpay Touch Limited”. Both boards say the merger will accelerate the growth of both Afterpay and Touchcorp, while the merger will also lead to the creation of a leading payment platform for customers and retailers. Shares in Afterpay Holdings Limited (ASX:AFY) closed 1.37% lower to $2.16
More company headlines
The Bank of Queensland (ASX:BOQ) says its interim cash earnings after tax fell 2% to $175 million, and its statutory NPAT dropped 6% to $161 million for the first half of 2017.The bank says it was on the back of strong competition for loans and low interest on deposits.
Bellamy’s (ASX:BAL) says its facing delays in getting its products registered under China’s new import regulations. The company says its infant formula products won’t be registered with China’s food authority until new rules come into play on 1 January 2018.
The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) has announced its issuing HK$680 million subordinated notes. The floating rate notes will be mature in March 2027 under the banks US$70 billion medium term note program.
Best and worst performers of the day
The best performing sector was Staples adding 1.2 per cent to close at 9,715. The worst performing sector was Industrials, losing 0.5 per cent to close at 5,321 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Navitas (ASX:NVT), rising 5.23 per cent to close at $4.43. Shares in Seven West Media (ASX:SWM) and Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Belamy’s (ASX:BAL), dropping 8.28 per cent to close at $4.10. Shares in Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR) and Fairfax Media (ASX:FXJ) also closed lower.
Gold is trading at $US1,251 an ounce.
Light crude is $1.16 higher at $US49.60 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying 76.63 US cents.