It has been a strong day of trade for the Australian share market. With the ASX200 rising a seventh of a per cent higher before noon, and then losing some of its early gains in the afternoon with Telcos and Healthcare joining Industrials in negative territory.
Despite that, the local bourse closed above the 6,010 point mark, with most of the market muscling up with Utilities and Consumer Discretionary leading throughout the session.
Some of the energy companies flexed their muscles with Origin Energy (ASX:ORG) rising 2.7 per cent, while the bulk of material players mustered up after the iron ore price improved with the likes of Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) gaining over 1.3 per cent, and BHP (ASX:BHP) and South32 (ASX:S32) not that far behind either.
In the consumer staples space, Bega Cheese (ASX:BGA) was a top performer, while in the Discretionary area, Myer (ASX:MYR) gained over 4 per cent, while Jb Hi-Fi (ASX:JBH) added 3.8 per cent.
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 27 points up, or 0.45 per cent higher to finish at 6,011.
The value of trades was $5.7 billion on volume of 744 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), ANZ (ASX:ANZ) and BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP).
On the futures market the SPI is 31 points up.
In more company news
Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG) has sold its substantial holding in poultry business, Inghams (ASX:ING). Shares in Inghams closed 0.3 per cent higher at $3.56.
And a suite of Webjet (ASX:WEB) buying took place, with some directors buying $2.5 million in the company. It comes just a day after the company advised its now focusing on driving business to customer (B2C) growth to bolster its market share. Its shares closed about 0.95 per cent higher at $9.60
Australia’s largest insurer, QBE (ASX:QBE) announced it will sell all of its 2.4 per cent US dollar senior notes on 29 December this year. The notes are due to expire on 1 May 2018.
Online video subscription company, Big Un (ASX:BIG) shares soared about 21 per cent higher, after it advised shareholders that despite its share price fluctuation, its operations and strategy are strong and on track. Just yesterday it announced its revenue run rate will grow to US$15.3 million by the end of this financial year.
Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY) shares gained over 8 per cent after it inked long-term agreements to sell a minimum of 200,000 tonnes of lithium concentrate per year, to multiple Asia customers over five years. At the close of trade through, it gained 8.64 per cent to close at $3.90.
Bio-Gene Technology (ASX:BGT) started trading today. The biotechnology company floated with an issue price of 20 cents, opened at 20.5 cents and it closed lower at 19.5 cents.
The best and worst performers of the day
The best performing sector was Utilites adding 1.7 per cent to close at 8,720.
The worst performing sector was Healthcare, shedding 0.5 per cent to close at 24,926. points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY), rising 8.64 per cent to close at $3.90. Shares in Myer Holdings Limited (ASX:MYR) and Seven West Media Limited (ASX:SWM) also closed higher.
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Seek (ASX:SEK), dropping 3.6 per cent to close at $18.70. Shares in Als Limited (ASX:ALQ) and Graincorp Limited (ASX:GNC) also closed lower.
Asian markets are mixed: Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.3 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has shed 0.5per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,296 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.36 lower at $US57.75 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 75.87 US cents.