Good weekly start: Aus shares close 0.5% higher

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

It has been a positive day of trade for the Australian share market. After shooting up at the open, defying mostly weak leads from Wall Street, the local bourse maintained momentum with most of our sectors mustering up.

Consumer Discretionary overtook the lead post as the stand out performing sector, followed by Telcos and Healthcare. 

The likes of Harvey Norman (ASX:HVN) and Jb Hi-Fi (ASX:JBH) gained over 1 per cent higher, while Breville (ASX:BRG) closed over 2 per cent up.

Meantime, the Energy and Materials sectors finished the day below the line after the iron ore price fell over 2 per cent, while the oil price also fell. 

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 29 points up, or 0.49 per cent higher to finish at 5,740.

The value of trades was $3.9 billion on volume of 568 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 Westpac Banking Corp (ASX:WBC).

On the futures market the SPI is 32 points up.

Asian markets 

Japan’s Nikkei is not trading for a Health Sports Day, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.3 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 1.1 per cent.

Company news 

Michael Hill (ASX:MHJ) has seen a 8 per cent up tick [7.8 per cent] in total store sales over the three months to 30 September 2017, compared to the prior corresponding period. The jewellery retailer hit $130.3 million in total sales. The largest growth came from its Emma and Roe brand which saw total store sales growth of over 27 per cent in the three months. As for the Michael Hill brand itself, the largest growth came from Canadian sales, followed by New Zealand and Australia. Shares in Michael Hill (ASX:MHJ) closed 0.89 per cent lower at $1.11.

And the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) announced to the market this afternoon it would be defending the shareholder class action in the Federal Court of Melbourne. The proceedings were brought down by Maurice Blackburn who is representing shareholders that purchased shares from 1 July 2015 to 3 August 2017. Shares in Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) closed 0.54 per cent higher at $76.71.

Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) has been granted works approval for its lithium-tantalum project in Western Australia by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation. The company says its now closer to becoming one of the world’s next significant lithium producers.

WorleyParsons (ASX:WOR) has inked a deal to buy 100 per cent of AFW’s UK oil and gas business for an enterprise value of $303 million. The purchase will be funded by a $322 million entitlement offer.

Select Harvest (ASX:SHV) has received a non-binding and highly conditional takeover proposal by Mubadala Investment company for $5.85 per share, which values the values the company at $430.6 million. Select Harvest also plans to raise $65 million through a institutional placement and share purchase plan.

IPOs

MCP Master Income Trust (ASX:MXT) started trading today. The trust that offers exposure to Australian corporate loans floated with an issue price of $2.00, opened at $2.01 and closed at $2.05.

The best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Consumer Discretionary adding 1.2 per cent to close at 2,142.
The worst performing sector was Energy, shedding 0.2 per cent to close at 9,216 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Mantra Group (ASX:MTR), rising 16.41 per cent to close at $3.76. Shares in Nine Entertainment Co Holdings limited (ASX:NEC) and Aconex (ASX:ACX) also closed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Orocobre (ASX:ORE), dropping 2.91 per cent to close at $5.01. Shares in Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) and Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY) also closed lower.

Commodities and the dollar 

Gold is trading at $US1,283 an ounce.
Light crude is $1.50 lower at $US49.29 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 77.63 US cents.