Strikes on Syria: Aus shares close 0.11% higher

Market Reports

by Carolyn Herbert

It has been an uninspiring end to the trading session for the Australian share market, following a heavy day of news. The local bourse started the day with promise, but around 11am news broke from the United States that President Donald Trump had authorised an air strike to take place on Syria. The market dropped into the red for the afternoon, but managed to finish with its head above water closing the day 0.11 per cent higher. Energy surged ahead this session with gains of around 1.8 per cent, followed by some strong buying in utilities. These gains were offset by weakness in the Telcos and Materials.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 6 points up to finish at 5,863.

The value of trades was $4.8 billion on volume of 733 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RIO).

On the futures market the SPI is 12 points lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei is tracking 0.36 per cent higher, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is 0.7 per cent lower and the Shanghai Composite is 0.24 per cent higher.

US markets

Looking at Wall Street, US major indexes were lower over the four trading days this week: The Dow Jones Industrial Average was flat. The S&P 500 Index has lost 0.22 per cent. The NASDAQ has lost 0.56 per cent. The 100 Index has lost 0.28 per cent.

Company news

Lithium Australia (ASX:LIT) has announced it has completed the Aboriginal Heritage Surveys over LIT’s Ravensthorpe lithium prospects; Horseshoe and Deep Purple. The lithium explorer has reported that no sites of cultural significance were found within the prospect area. The Horseshow project hosts an exploration target of 900,000 tonnes of lithium mineralisation at a minimum grade of 1 per cent Li2O.Shares in Lithium Australia closed 3.85 per cent higher at $0.14.

The Reject Shop (ASX:TRS) has announced its expecting to report a net operating loss of at least $5 million in the second half of 2017.

Neometals Limited (ASX:NMT) is proposing to sell its 13.8% stake in the Mt Marion lithium project in Western Australia.

SEEK Limited (ASX:SEK) has anounced its New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) listed subsidiary has entered into a Merger Agreement.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Energy adding 1.8 per cent to close at 9,506. The worst performing sector was Telcos, losing 0.37 per cent to close at 1,607 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST), rising 5.58 per cent to close at $4.54. Shares in Orocobre (ASX:ORE) and Reliance Worldwide (ASX:RWC) also closed higher.

The worst performing stock was Vocus Communications (ASX:VOC), dropping 4.27 per cent to close at $3.81. Shares in Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY) and Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) also closed lower.


De.mem Limited (ASX:DEM) started trading today. The water and waste management company listed with an issue price of $0.20, opened at $0.32 and closed at $0.45.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,265 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.89 higher at $US51.74 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7526.


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