The Australian share market started the session flat in hesitant trade ahead of a decision on a second bailout package for debt-laden Greece. News the €130 billion deal was approved pushed local equities 0.8 per cent higher by close with all sectors but the property trusts finishing stronger.
The S&P/ASX 200 index gained 35 points to finish at 4,291. On the futures market the SPI is currently 33 points higher.
Australia’s central bank has signaled that it’s not in a rush to cut interest rates. The Reserve Bank of Australia’s latest monthly board meeting minutes said, “With growth expected to be close to trend and inflation consistent with the target, the board considered that this setting was appropriate for the overall macroeconomic outlook”. The RBA defied expectations and left the key interest rate at 4.25 per cent at its February board meeting.
Today’s best performer was OneSteel Limited (ASX:OST) after releasing its first half results and flagging plans to cut an extra 430 jobs as it moves to cut costs. Onesteel booked a first half net loss of $74 million, hit by a $130 million impairment charge concerning its steel business. However, the company has forecast a significant improvement in the second half and even revealed it’s considering changing its name to reflect changes in its business.Shares in OneSteel closed 12.33 per cent higher at $0.82.
Shares in Boart Longyear Limited (ASX:BLY) rose to one of today’s best performers after unveiling a record full year result and forecasting growth ahead. The mining services provider says its net profit jumped 89 per cent to $149 million on the back of a 37 per cent rise in revenue generated last year. This year the company expects revenue to grow 14 per cent EBITDA to grow 27 per cent. Shares in Boart Longyear closed 8.26 per cent higher at $3.93.
2012 H1 profit results
Engineering company Downer EDI Limited (ASX:DOW) has swung to a first half profit of $85 million, from a loss of $105 million the year before, boosted by growth in its mining division.
Shopping centre company CFS Retail Property Trust (ASX:CFX) has posted a 42 per cent fall in its first half profit but says it expects modest retail sales growth and conditions to improve.
Engineering group Monadelphous Group Limited (ASX:MND) has generated a record first half net profit, jumping 26 per cent on the back of strong sales growth from its maintenance, industrial services and infrastructure divisions.
Internet services provider iiNet Limited (ASX:IIN) says its first half net profit grew 17 per cent to $14.4 million in the same six month period its subscriber numbers increased to 860,000.
Best and worst performers
Most sectors advanced: The best performing sector was Industrials adding 57 points to close at 3,699. The worst performing sector was Real Estate Investment Trusts, losing 3 points to close at 826 points.
The best performing stock in the S&PASX 200 was OneSteel Limited (ASX:OST), rising 12.33 per cent higher at $0.82. Shares in Boart Longyear Limited (ASX:BLY) and Macquarie Atlas Roads Limited (ASX:MQA) also added value.
The worst performing stock was Gryphon Minerals Limited (ASX:GRY), dropping 4.25 per cent to close at $1.24. Shares in Ramelius Resources Limited (ASX:RMS) and UGL Limited (ASX:UGL) also lost value.
Gold is trading at $US1,736 an ounce.
Light crude is $1.63 higher at $US104.87 a barrel.