Market Wrap: Uranium stocks boost market

Market Reports

Following positive leads the Australian share market opened higher and firmed throughout the day to end 0.8 per cent stronger. All sectors advanced, led by the miners and energy stocks.

The S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 33 points to finish at 4,321. On the futures market the SPI is 19 points higher.

Economic news

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has reported company gross operating profits beat expectations, rising 4.8 per cent in the September quarter. In the same period estimated business inventories fell 1.1 per cent, defying expectations for an increase.

The Australian Industry Group and Commonwealth Bank have released the Australian Performance of Services Index. The index shed 1.1 points to 47.7 points in November. A read below 50 indicates a contraction in Australia's services sector activity.

ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ) has shown job advertisements remained relatively unchanged in November after four straight months of falls. In the year to November job ads growth was just 0.2 per cent higher.

Company news

Shares in Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RIO) controlled-Energy Resources of Australia Limited (ASX:ERA) jumped to the best performer of the top 200 stocks after the Labor party endorsed a plan to remove a ban on uranium exports. Shares in fellow uranium developer Paladin Energy Limited (ASX:PDN) closed 2.4 per cent higher following the decision that was reached over the weekend at Labor's national conference. According to Reuters Australia has almost 40 per cent of global uranium reserves but supplies just 19 per cent of the global market and has no nuclear power stations. Shares in Energy Resources of Australia jumped 9.79 per cent, closing at $0.14.

Shares in Greenland Minerals and Energy Limited (ASX:GGG) finished higher after the Greenland focussed mineral explorer said the country’s government has introduced uranium licensing framework. The company says the amendment to its exploration license means that it is now inclusive of uranium. Shares in Greenland Minerals and Energy ended the day 3.42 per cent stronger at $0.605.

Shares in ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ) rose after the Federal Court ruled four out of five of its fee types are acceptable under existing laws.

Nathan Tinkler’s Aston Resources Limited (ASX:AZT) gained on confirmation from fellow coal miner Whitehaven Coal Limited (ASX:WHC) both companies are in talks for a potential merger that could be worth up to $4.7 billion.

APN News and Media Limited (ASX:APN) closed higher even though the newspaper, radio and outdoor advertising company says it expects to post a 25 per cent profit fall this year.

Shares in UGL Limited (ASX:UGL) finished lower after the engineering group announced it’s $118 million purchase of UK consultancy DTZ Holdings.

Best and worst performers

Most sectors advanced: The best performing sector was Materials, rising 119 points to close at 11,588. The only sector to close in the red was Healthcare, losing 4 points to close at 8,099 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Energy Resources of Australia, jumping 9.79 per cent to close at $0.14. Shares in Pacific Brands and Aquila Resources also finished stronger.

The worst performing stock was recently listed Chorus, dropping 3.85 per cent to close at $2.25. Shares in Transpacific Industries Group and Dart Energy also lost value.

Commodities

The price of gold is $US1,746 an ounce.
Light crude is up $0.50 at $US101.46 a barrel.