It’s been a positive trade of trade for the Australian market going strength to strength after opening in the black. The local bourse continued to rise throughout the day with materials leading the charge across the sectors. With iron ore in positive territory, likes of with Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR) rose 1.8 per cent, Bluescope Steel (ASX:BSL) and Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) also lifting just over 1 per cent.
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 43 points higher to finish at 5,890.
The value of trades was $4.8 billion on volume of 673 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 Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RIO).
On the futures market the SPI is 47 points higher.
Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.29 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has gained 0.18 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.06 per cent.
Local economic news
The ABS has reported on the September New Motor Vehicles Sales, with trend the trend estimate of 99, 850 decreased by 0.3 percent, compared to August 2017.
RBA has released meeting minutes from the 3rd of October. Consensus from local economists believe is the RBA is not in any rush to lift interest rates, or follow suit like other major central banks in the US and Canada. Other key takeaways included the plateau of construction and prospective strength in employment growth which expect to support household spending in the period ahead.
ANZ (ASX:ANZ) has sold their OnePath pensions and wealth business to IOOF for $975m. The big 4 bank joins the trend of other Australian banks quitting non-core divisions to boost capital. As part of the sale, ANZ enters into a 20 year strategic alliance to make IOOF superannuation and investment products available to ANZ customers. Alexis George, ANZ Wealth Group Executive, says the sales provides the business ‘greater flexibility’ for the life insurance business. Shares in ANZ (ASX:ANZ) closed 0.6 per cent higher at $30.34.
Meridian Energy (ASX:MEZ) has reported national hydro storage increased from 87 per cent to 113 per cent of historical average, in five weeks to 15 October. The electricity generator, released their monthly operating report for Sept 2017, indicating a 7.7 per cent increase in retail sales volume from the corresponding year prior. Shares in Meridian Energy (ASX:MEX) closed flat at $2.64.
Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) has reported strong September quarterly production and announced $2.5 billion of additional returns to shareholders from the sale of its Coal and Allied business.
Telstra (ASX:TLS) has reduced its underlying fixed costs by $244 million, and says it’s on track to achieving $1.5 billion of productivity savings by FY22.
Gold producer and explorer, St Barbara (ASX:SBM) has seen record quarterly production at its PNG mine, Simberi, hitting 33,976 ounces, while it also dropped its costs at the site.
Bryah Resources (ASX:BYH) started trading today. The Perth based mineral exploration company floated with an issue price of $0.20, opened at $0.24 and it closed at $0.225.
To the best and worst performers
The best performing sector was materials rising 1.02 per cent adding/losing 0.00 per cent to close at 10,775.
The worst performing sector was utilities, dropping 0.24 per cent to close at 8150 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 Vocus rising 10.25 per cent to close at $2.69. Shares in GUD Holdings (ASX:GUD) and Indepdence Group (ASX:IGO) also closed higher.
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 Sirtex Medical (ASX:SRX) loosing 4.97 per cent to close at $13.76. Shares in Graincorp (ASX:GNC) and Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) also closed lower.
To commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,293 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.46 up at $US52.19 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 78.47 US cents.