Strong finish: Aus shares close 0.93% higher

Market Reports

by Carolyn Herbert

The Australian share market has kicked off the trading week on a high note, springing upwards at the open and remaining there for the rest of the session, before closing the day 0.93 per cent higher. Most sectors finished the day in the black but it was Materials that lead the charge, following a surge in iron ore futures which hit a 4 month high. Utilities was the only sector to finish the day in negative territory.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 53 points up to finish at 5,774.

The value of trades was $3.9 billion on volume of 522 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 Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG).

On the futures market the SPI is 54 points up.

Asian markets

Taking a look at how Asian markets are tracking in afternoon trade. The Nikkei is 0.61 per cent higher, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is up 0.42 per cent and Shanghai Composite is 0.17 per cent higher.

Company news

AusCann Group Holdings Limited (ASX:AC8) has gone into a trading halt pending the release of a market sensitive announcement by the medicinal cannabis company. The announcement relates to an update with respect to its Australian operations. AusCann says the announcement should be released to the market by this Wednesday. Shares last traded at $0.46.

Flight Centre Travel Group (ASX:FLT) has added a mobile agency group, Travel Partners, to its leisure network.

Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG) has reported unaudited net profit after tax of $136 million for FY17, a drop from FY16’s $201 million.

ZipMoney (ASX:ZML) has secured a $40 million strategic investment from Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC) through a private share placement.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Materials adding 1.49 per cent to close at 10,279 The worst performing sector was Utilities, losing 0.38 per cent to close at 8,447 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Bluescope Steel (ASX:BSL), rising 5.92 per cent to close at $14.14. Shares in Mantra Group (ASX:MTR) and Mayne Pharma (ASX:MYX) also closed higher.

The worst performing stock was Crown Resorts (ASX:CWN), dropping 4.27 per cent to close at $11.87. Shares in Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG) and APA Group (ASX:APA) also closed lower.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,258 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.55 up at $US49,58 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7936.


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