Theatrical Thursday: Aus shares close 0.11% higher

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

It has been a positive day of trade for the Australian share market, following on from Wall Street’s solid close. After opening in the black the local bourse lost steam after the iron ore price stumbled almost 4 per cent, which dragged down the big miners, with the likes of Fortescue (ASX:FMG) losing about 2.7 per cent, while BHP (ASX:BHP) and Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) also closed in the red.

Bucking the trend, over half of our sectors danced higher today, with utilities outperforming throughout the session, followed by Healthcare and Consumer Discretionary. Sirtex Medical (ASX:SRX) jumped over 3.5 per cent after the company issued shares to its directors.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 6 points up, or 0.11 per cent higher to finish at 5,670.

The value of trades was $5.3 billion on volume of 678 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP), Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC) and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA).

On the futures market the SPI is 14 points up.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.55 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.1 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has shed 0.16 per cent.

Company News 

Karoon Gas Australia (ASX:KAR) has been awarded a prospective 171 square kilometre offshore block, in the Santos Basin of Santa Catarina, Brazil. The company won the block, in the oil and gas producing province from the National Agency of Petroleum in Brazil. Karoon Gas says, it has the potential of producing hundreds of millions of barrels of oil. The purchase, to be completed in December will involve paying $8 million, as well as a refundable guaranteed bond of $2.5 million. Shares in Karoon Gas Australia (ASX:KAR) closed 3.35 per cent higher at $1.24.

Origin Energy (ASX:ORG) has inked a deal to sell its upstream oil and gas business, Lattice Energy, to Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) for $1.6 billion.

Shavershop (ASX:SSG) has announced its corporate sales grew 11.9 per cent over the 12 weeks to 22 September 2017, while its full year FY2018 EBITDA is expected to be between $13 and $15.5 million.

Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) has enrolled 159-patients into its clinical trial for cell therapy on end-stage heart failure patients.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Utilites adding 0.96 per cent to close at 8,003.
The worst performing sector was Energy, shedding 0.79 per cent to close at 9,314. points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Speedcast International Limited (ASX:SDA), rising 3.95 per cent to close at $3.95. Shares in Premier Investments Limited (ASX:PMV) and Bluescope Steel Limited (ASX:BSL) also closed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Regis Resources Limited (ASX:RRL), dropping 4.23 per cent to close at $3.62. Shares in Saracen Mineral Holdings Limited (ASX:SAR) and Northern Star Resources Limited (ASX:NST) also closed lower. 

IPOs

Okapi Resources (ASX:OKR) started trading today. The Kimberley goldfields miner floated with an issue price of 20 cents opened at 27 cents and it closed at 33.5 cents.

VGI Partners Global Investments (ASX:VG1) started trading today. The high conviction global equity manager floated with an issue price of $2.00 opened at $1.99 and it closed at $2.00.

Commodities and the dollar 

Gold is trading at $US1,280 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.15 up at $US52.03 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 78.22 US cents.