The Australian share market rose today on the back of strong offshore leads. Lead by the telco’s and major banks and miners, the local bourse closed more than 1 per cent higher. All sectors finished the week in the black.
The S&P/ASX200 Index gained 49 points to close at 4,655. For the week it was 64 points stronger. On the futures market, the SPI is 55 points higher.
On Wall Street: The DOW Jones Industrial Average was up 137 points over the four trading days this week. The S&P 500 Index was up 14 points, NASDAQ was down 398 and the 100 Index was up 52.
OM Holdings Limited (ASX:OMH) has inked a deal for a Malaysian-listed company to take a 20 per cent equity stake in the company’s planned manganese and ferro silicon smelling plant in Malaysia. Under the Memorandum of Understanding both companies will work to construct the $450 million plant. Earlier this week OM Holdings announced it will ditch its proposed dual listing in Hong Kong and instead consider splitting its smelting and trading businesses. Shares in OM Holdings finished the week at $1.025, after today firming 0.99 per cent.
Investors bought back into News Corporation (ASX:NWS) today, after the international media company responded to allegations of phone hacking by announcing it will no longer print its British tabloid, News of the World. Yesterday NewsCorp fell to one of the worst performers of the S&P/ASX200 as the unfolding scandal threatened to impact the company’s other businesses. News Corp’s bid for pay-TV giant BSkyB has also been shadowed by the scandal, with some media reports suggesting the British government will now delay approving the deal. Shares in News Corp rose 1.33 per cent today, closing at $16.77.
Shares in WPG Resources Limited (ASX:WPG) rallied today after the South Australian government gave the green light for the explorer to develop Peculiar Knob, believed to be Australia’s highest grade undeveloped iron ore deposit.
Shares in Cougar Energy Limited (ASX:CXY) fell sharply today, after the Queensland government ordered the company to shut down its underground coal gasification plant, claiming it had contaminated groundwater with cancer-causing chemicals.
Best and worst performers
All sectors closed in positive territory. Up the top was Telco Services, rising 19 points to close at 1,029. The sector with the smallest gains was Real Estate Investment Trusts, adding 2 points to close at 847 points. The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX200 was Gryphon Minerals shares gained 10.33 per cent to close at $2.03. Shares in Intrepid Mines and Lynas Corporation ended the week higher. The worst performing stock was BlueScope Steel, dipping 3.57 per cent to close at $1.35. Shares in Murchison Metals and Southern Cross Media Group also closed lower today.
Gold is trading at $US1,532 an ounce and is up $47.65 on the week. Light crude is up 2 cents to $US98.69 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US1.0788 cents, and is slightly up on the week.