ASX lifts with Santos: Aus shares close 0.16% higher

Market Reports

by Clive Tompkins

The Australian share market lifted this afternoon after sitting flat at midday.

The rise is partly due to Santos (ASX:STO) with a more than 12 per cent gain, the highest it’s been in more than a year. This comes after the mining company rejected a recent takeover bid from a US investor which was worth close to $9.5 billion. As a result, the Energy sector lifted following its downfall yesterday.

Fairfax (ASX:FXJ) saw a more than 30 per cent drop after its spinoff Domain (ASX:DHG) started trading on the ASX today. This didn’t affect the overall weighting of Consumer Discretionaries, however, which lifted with Harvey Norman, (ASX:HVN) following the retail giant reporting a 4 per cent increase in sales for the quarter.

Healthcare also did well, with Ramsay Health Care (ASX:RHC) lifting today. Utilities and Consumer Staples were the only sectors in the red by the closing bell. Woolworths (ASX:WOW) and Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) were both lower today as well as AGL Energy (ASX:AGL).

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 9 points up, or 0.16 per cent higher to finish at 5,944.

The value of trades was $5.4 billion on volume of 719 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX:WPL), National Australia Bank (ASX:NAB) and Commonwealth Bank of Australia(ASX:CBA).

On the futures market the SPI is 21 points up.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has added 1.4 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.5 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.1 per cent.

Economic news

Australia’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.4 per cent, the lowest rate in 4.5 years since February 2013. The market forecast the rate to remain steady at 5.5 per cent with the creation of 17,500 new jobs, however only 3,700 jobs were created in October.

Company news

New Hope Group (ASX:NHC) recorded a 6.2 per cent rise in saleable coal this quarter to October compared to the same time last year, as index prices for export coal were strong in the quarter. The coal miner recorded a 16 per cent growth in coal sold this quarter compared to this time last year. Shares in New Hope Group (ASX:NHC) closed 7.24 per cent higher at $2.37

Seven West Media (ASX:SWM) has partnered with crowd-sourced technology and media company Newzulu (ASX:NWZ) to build a new app for user-generated content of Channel 7’s “Summer of Sport” season which attracts millions of viewers.

Manufacturer of cement and lime, Adelaide Brighton, (ASX:ABC) has signed a supply agreement with international construction company Lendlease (ASX:LLC) for the Northern Connector Project based in South Australia.

Cash Converters (ASX:CCV) received a cybersecurity email threat which claims to have gained unauthorised access to customer data through one of its UK websites, Webshop, which is operated by a third party in the UK.

Domain (ASX:DHG) started trading today. The real estate platform opened at $3.80 and is closed at $3.69. Eligible shareholders in Fairfax received one Domain share for every ten Fairfax shares held.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Energy adding 1.9 per cent to close at 10,047.

The worst performing sector was Staples, shedding 0.60 per cent to close at 9,829. points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Santos Limited (ASX:STO), rising 13.01 per cent to close at $4.95. Shares in Harvey Norman Holdings Limited (ASX:HVN) and Ramsay Health Care Limited (ASX:RHC) also closed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Fairfax Media Limited (ASX:FXJ), dropping 31.46 per cent to close at $0.73. Shares in St Barbara Limited (ASX:SBM) and Orocobre Limited (ASX:ORE) also closed lower.


Gold is trading at $US1,277 an ounce.

Light crude is $0.38 lower at $US55.51 barrel.

One Australian dollar is buying 75.94 US cents.