Solid finish: Aus shares close 0.74% higher

Market Reports

by Carolyn Herbert

From what was a disappointing start to the trading session for the Australian share market the local bourse has come home strong and finished the day 0.74 per cent higher. While most sectors finished the day in the black it was the Materials space that lead the charge with gains in the big miners BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) and Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) or around 1.9 and 2.5 per cent respectively. We also saw some solid gains in the Financials space, namely the big four banks. The only sector to finish the day in the red was the Industrials space which lost around 1 per cent.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 42 points up to finish at 5,756.

The value of trades was $6.2 billion on volume of 887 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) and National Australia Bank Limited (ASX:NAB).

On the futures market the SPI is 45 points up.

Asian markets

Taking a look at how Asian markets are tracking in afternoon trade. The Nikkei is 0.5 per cent lower, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is 0.5 per cent lower and the Shanghai Composite is 0.26 per cent lower.

Company news

Downer EDI Limited (ASX:DOW) says it has now become Spotless Group’s majority shareholder with a 59.64 per cent interest in the cleaning services company. Downer has told remaining Spotless shareholders to accept its unconditional takeover offer at $1.15 per Spotless share. The price represents a 59 per cent premium to the Spotless share price on the 20th of March 2017. Shares in Downer EDI closed 0.95 per cent down at $6.28.

Sirtex Medical (ASX:SRX) says it will reduce 15 per cent of its staff, with restructuring provisions (pre-tax) of $5.3 million in the second half of the 2017 financial year.

Dexus (ASX:DXS) has entered into a joint venture (JV) with Commercial and General (C&G) to establish a new wholesale unlisted healthcare fund, that is tipped to be worth $760 million.

Nine Entertainment Co Holdings (ASX:NEC) has announced it will be positively impacted by the Australian Government’s regulation change announced today on licence fees.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Materials adding 1.28 per cent to close at 9,712. The worst performing sector was Industrials, losing 0.81per cent to close at 5,831 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Sirtex Medical (ASX:SRX), rising 17.12 per cent to close at $15.80. Shares in Southern Cross Media (ASX:SXL) and IAG (ASX:IAG) also closed higher.

The worst performing stock was ALS Limited (ASX:ALS), dropping 3.71 per cent to close at $7.53. Shares in Skycity (ASX:SKC) and Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) also closed lower.


WAM Microcap Limited (ASX:WMI) started trading today. The investment company listed with an issue price of $1.10, opened at $1.11 and closed at $1.12.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,252 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.34 higher at $US43.72 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7612.


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