It has been an uneventful end to the trading session for the Australian share market after a day of fluctuating in and out of negative territory. At the close the local bourse ended up fairly stagnant, gaining 0.17 per cent. Healthcare was the star performers this session, followed by gains in Materials and Telcos. REITs fared the worst today, followed by losses in the Financials space, namely all of the big four banks.
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 9 points up to finish at 5,716 over the week the index lost 58 points.
The value of trades was $4.6 billion on volume of 687 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC) and BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP).
On the futures market the SPI is 18 points up.
Taking a look at how Asian markets are tracking in afternoon trade. The Nikkei is 0.1 per cent higher, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is flat and the Shanghai Composite is 0.5 per cent lower.
Looking at Wall Street, US major indexes were all higher over the four trading days this week: The Dow Jones Industrial Average has added 0.1 per cent. The S&P 500 Index has added 0.1 per cent. The NASDAQ has added 1.4 per cent. The 100 Index has added 1.7 per cent.
Sky and Space Global Limited (ASX:SAS) has gone into a trading halt pending the release of a market sensitive announcement by the company. The announcement relates to the launch of the company’s 3 Diamonds nano satellites today from the Indian Space Research Organisation facility. The company’s shares will come back online on Monday or when the announcement is released to the market. Shares in Sky and Space Global closed flat at $0.24.
Ardent Leisure Limited (ASX:AAD) says its preliminary full year Core EBITDA guidance for its Theme Parks division is now expected to enter positive territory, instead of the previously expected loss.
Bega Cheese Limited (ASX:BGA) has announced it plans to raise $160 million via an institutional placement and a share purchase plan (SPP).
Orocobre Limited (ASX:ORE) has experienced severe weather conditions in the Puna region of Argentina and Chile, which has led to lower than expected production rates at its Olaroz Lithium Facility.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Healthcare adding 1.4 per cent to close at 24,673. The worst performing sector was REITs, losing 0.4 per cent to close at 1,379 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Mayne Pharma (ASX:MYX), rising 6.6 per cent to close at $1.13. Shares in TPG Telecom (ASX:TPM) and Iluka Resources (ASX:ILU) also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Ardent Leisure (ASX:AAD), dropping 6.57 per cent to close at $1.99. Shares in Orecobre (ASX:ORE) and Infigen Energy (ASX:IFN) also closed lower.
Contango Global Growth Limited (ASX:CQG) started trading today. The investment company floated with an issue price of $1.10, opened at $1.14 and closed at $1.11.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,253 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.25 up at $US42.78 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7561.