Banks and telcos surge: Aus shares close 1.75% higher

Market Reports

by Clive Tompkins

It has been a positive day of trade for the Australian share market.

After opening in the black the local bourse shot up at the open, erasing yesterday’s losses, after the Dow Jones hit a fresh record high when US crude prices rose 2.2 per cent.

The ASX200 managed to maintain momentum throughout the session before closing 1.75 per cent higher.

All sectors advanced today, all closing around 1.75 per cent higher. Financials and Telcos led the charge gaining over 2 per cent each.

Consumer Discretionaries also performed well today with the likes of Ardent Leisure (ASX:AAD) rising almost 8 per cent after Sun Hung Kai Global Opportunities Fund became a substantial shareholder.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 99 points higher to finish at 5,784.

The value of trades was $5.6 billion on volume of 770 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) and BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP).

On the futures market the SPI is 100 points up.

Asian markets

The Nikkei is 0.2 per cent lower, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is down 1.53 per cent and the Shanghai Composite is 0.43 per cent lower.

Economics news

The RBA kept interest rates on hold today, keeping the cash rate at record lows, 1.5 per cent as expected.

The ABS has reported retail turnover rose 0.6 per cent in May (in seasonally adjusted terms). Although the growth was not as strong as April’s 1 per cent rise, May’s sales managed to beat expectation that sales would only rise 0.1 per cent.

The biggest gains were seen in household goods, which rose 2.2 per cent, offsetting the 0.7% fall in department stores sales.

Company news

Bega Cheese (ASX:BGA) has confirmed that Vegemite has returned to Australian hands. It comes as the Australian dairy company completed the purchase of Mondelez International’s Australia and New Zealand grocery and cheese business. Bega Cheese says as part of the purchase, it has welcomed over 200 new employees and a high quality management team to the company. The firm says the combination of great brands, people and assets will further strengthen the Bega Cheese business. Shares in Bega Cheese (ASX:BGA) closed 2.51 per cent higher at $6.93.

Bellamy’s Australia (ASX:BAL) has completed its 90 per cent purchase of a canning facility in Victoria, while it also finalising a $60.4 million capital raising.

Peet (ASX:PPC) has been earmarked as the Western Australian Government’s preferred proponent for final negotiations, as a development partner for a mass housing project, 20 kilometres from Perth.

Yowie Group (ASX:YOW) has entered into an agreement with a company founded by actor/director Mel Gibson, Icon Animation, to produce a series of Yowie webisodes. The global brand licencing company, inked the deal to be a step closer to taking the firm to Hollywood and the big screen.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Financials adding 2.21 per cent to close at 6584. The worst performing sector was Utilities, losing 0.92 per cent to close at 8629 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Ardent Leisure, rising 7.94 per cent to close at $2.04. Shares in Galaxy Resources and JB Hi-Fi also closed higher.

The worst performing stock was Evolution Mining, dropping 4.74 per cent to close at $2.21. Shares in St Barbara and Resolute Mining also closed lower.

Commodities

To commodities, Gold is trading at $US1225 an ounce. Light crude is $1.01 up at $US47.05 a barrel. The Australian dollar is buying 76.07 US cents.

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