Market Wrap: ASX higher, Linc soars

Market Reports

The Australian share market finished 0.356 per cent higher with energy and mining stocks leading the way.

The S&P/ASX200 Index gained 14.9 points to finish at 4,196. For the week, the index gained 87 points. On the futures market, the SPI is up 28 points.

Wall Street

Over its two trading days this week: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 111 points. The S&P 500 Index gained 18 points, the Nasdaq gained 50 points, and the 100 Index is up 26 points.

Company news

Linc Energy Limited (ASX:LNC) shares soared 23 per cent during the trading day on market speculation the company’s found a buyer for its Teresa coal asset in Queensland. A spokeswoman for the company would not give an official comment, nor confirm if the market is to expect an announcement on Monday morning. Linc Energy shares closed 17.7 per cent higher, at $1.33.

The Finance Sector Union (FSU) has been told Australia and New Zealand Bank Group’s (ASX:ANZ) about to undertake an “aggressive cost reduction program”, which will include cutting back the workforce. The union says it believes many hundreds of jobs will be slashed and it’s likely the other big banks will follow. ANZ rose 0.47 per cent today and finished the week at $21.20.

QBE Insurance Group Limited’s (ASX:QBE) shares continued to slide today – they were down almost six per cent at one stage, still reeling from a year of natural disasters and a profit outlook downgrade.

Gindalbie Metals Limited (ASX:GBG) shares reached heights of more than seven per cent today, after it announced its flagship Karara project in Western Australia will remain on track for first shipments of magnetite concentrate in the September quarter this year. 

Best and worst

The best performing sector was energy, gaining 102 points to close at 13,358. The worst performing sector was consumer staples, losing 16 points to close at 7,508 points.

The best performing stock in the S&PASX 200 of course was Linc Energy, followed by White Energy up 14 per cent and Acrux. The worst performing stock was Onesteel, down 4.64 per cent at 72 cents followed by QBE and Invocare.

Commodities

Gold is trading at $US1,641.86 an ounce and gained $25.47 over the week. Light crude is up by 86 cents to $US99.96 a barrel.

The Australian dollar is buying $US1.0324, almost flat on the week.