In the black: Aus shares close 0.31% higher

Market Reports

by Carolyn Herbert

It has been a positive finish to the Monday trading session for the Australian share market, after a fairly quiet start to the day. The local bourse struggled in the first two hours of trade, but we saw the market pick up steam in afternoon trade and close the day 0.31 per cent higher. While sectors were mostly stronger today, it was Materials that led the way, after a surge in the price of iron ore. BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP), Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) and Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) were the stand out performers. However, it wasn’t such a good day for the Health Care and Telcos spaces both of which finished the day slightly lower.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 18 points up to finish at 5,721.

The value of trades was $4.8 billion on volume of 687 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP), Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA).

On the futures market the SPI is 35 points up.

Asian markets

Taking a look at how Asian markets are tracking in afternoon trade. The Nikkei is 0.02 per cent lower, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is up 1.01 per cent and the Shanghai Composite is 0.54 per cent higher.

Company news

Cabcharge Australia Limited (ASX:CAB) says its acquisition of Yellow Cabs Queensland is now complete. The company says consideration for the acquisition was $19.5 million. Cabcharge also divested its stake in City Fleet Networks which resulted in proceeds to Cabcharge of $12.9 million. Shares in Cabcharge closed 3.54 per cent down at $2.18.

Cochlear (ASX:COH) has appointed Dig Howitt as its new Chief Executive Officer and President.

Sandfire Resources (ASX:SFR) has increased its ownership in one of the world’s highest-grade underdeveloped copper projects, the Black Butte Copper Project in central Montana, USA.

Infigen Energy (ASX:IFN) has reported a 14 per cent rise in revenue to $196.7 million in the FY2017, compared to the prior corresponding period.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Materials adding 1.52 per cent to close at 10,147. The worst performing sector was Health Care, losing 0.3 per cent to close at 22,344 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG), rising 5.9 per cent to close at $5.74. Shares in Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG) and Oz Minerals (ASX:OZL) also closed higher.

The worst performing stock was Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR), dropping 7.4 per cent to close at $2.88. Shares in Treasury Wine Estates (ASX:TWE) and Brickworks (ASX:BKW) also closed lower.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,269 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.67 higher at $US49.71 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7981.


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