Market in 6000 territory: Aus shares close 0.25% higher

Market Reports

by Jessica Ellerm

It has been a positive day of trade for the Australian share market. After opening with conviction, the local bourse stayed above the pivotal 6000 mark, brushing close to 6016 in early morning trade.

As for the sectors, Energy and REITS were two bright spots, while Utilities pulled back.

This afternoon all eyes were on Westfield Corporation (ASX:WFD), which entered into a trading halt earlier today, pending an announcement on Thursday of a corporate transaction. The rumour mill is in overdrive, with some news outlets suggesting the business may be the subject of a takeover bid. The Sydney Morning Herald has reported the retail giant will hold a press conference at 6pm this evening, where no doubt some light may be shed on where the business is heading.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 15 points up, or 0.25 per cent higher to finish at 6,013.

The value of trades was $4.9 billion on volume of 690 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP), Westpac Banking Group (ASX:WBC) and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA).

On the futures market the SPI is 10 points up.

Economic news

National Australia Bank's index of business conditions fell 9 points to +12 in November, undoing October’s gains. Business confidence also fell 3 points to 6.

The ABS has reported Residential property prices in Australia fell 0.2 percent quarter-on-quarter in the three months to September of 2017, following a 1.9 percent gain in the second quarter. The latest figures weren’t in line with expectations, with broad consensus 3 would show a 0.6 percent expansion. It was the first decline in six quarters for the house price index, a possible leading indicator of a cooling market.

Company news

Eden Innovations (ASX:EDE) has announced it has completed product development of a variant of its EdenCrete product which has a higher concentration and is lower cost. It has also completed development on a second product, EdenCrete®P, for use in concrete made with pozzolanic cements. Both products have shown encouraging performance in extensive in-house testing. The company will begin eight independent laboratory trials across the US to test up to eight performance characteristics. This will support US marketing initiatives. Shares in Eden Innovations (ASX:EDE) closed 4.17 per cent lower at $0.12
 
Fairfax (ASX:FXJ) has partnered with tech giant, Google on digital advertising and technology and product development.

E-retailer Kogan (ASX:KGN) has partnered up with Medibank (ASX:MPL) to launch Kogan Health, a new brand offering budget health insurance policies.

And accommodation and recreational vehicle business, Fleetwood Corporation (ASX:FWD), has agreed to sell its Flexiglass Challenge business to automotive accessories business Aeroklas Australia for $7 million.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was REITS adding 2.14 per cent to close at 1,451.
The worst performing sector was Utilities, shedding 1.06 per cent to close at 8668 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Scentre Group (ASX:SCG) rising 4.07 per cent to close at $4.35. Shares in Dexus (ASX:DXS) and Mirvac Group (ASX:MGR) also closed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Retail Food Group (ASX:RFG), dropping 5.23 per cent to close at $3.08. Shares in Asaleo Care (ASX:AHY) and Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR) also closed lower.

Asian markets

Asian markets are tracking lower.  Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.31 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng hsa dropped0.33 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has shed 0.49 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,245 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.66 up at $US58.02 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 75.34 US cents.
  

Jessica Ellerm

Finance News Network
Jessica joined FNN in April 2016 and presents the Australian Share Market Outlook, and reports on the morning's leading business stories. Alongside FNN Jessica is a fintech industry commentator, writing for her own blog and a number of international online publications.