Market Wrap: ASX lifts as RBA holds fire

Market Reports

The Australian share market ended higher after the Central Bank held fire and kept the nation’s cash rate on hold today. Despite a positive US lead local stocks drifted south and unchanged for most of the session. Session highs came following the rate decision, supported by strength in the mining sector after commodity prices rose overnight.  

Figures

The S&P/ASX 200 index gained 13 points today to close the session at 4,901. 

The value of trades was $4.1 billion on volume of 861 million shares at the close of trade.

The top three stocks by value were BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP), Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX:TLS) and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA).

On the futures market the SPI is 12 points higher.

Economic news

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has kept the benchmark interest rate at the lowest level in more than 50 years. As widely expected the RBA kept rates at 2.75 per cent at its June board meeting. The Central Bank’s decision was backed-up by a pick-up in the properly market and a lower currency which is hoped will aid manufacturers, exporters and investment. Many analysts still maintain the RBA has an easing bias and will cut rates at its next meeting in July. 
 
Australia’s current account deficit narrowed sharper than expected in the first quarter of 2013. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reports a first quarter account deficit of $8.5 billion, down from $14.7 billion the quarter before.
 
Company news

Shares in Billabong International Limited (ASX:BBG) plunged to the day’s worst performer after its US equity firm suitors abandoned plans to launch a takeover for the company. The surf, skate, snow and sports retailer says it is continuing talks with its past suitors to explore potentially selling its assets and has also today cut its earnings expectations. Shares in Billabong International plunged 49.45 per cent to end the session at $0.23. 
 
Nathan Tinkler has agreed to settle a dispute with coal exploration company Blackwood Corporation Limited (ASX:BWD) concerning a $28.4 million share placement debt. Blackwood Corporation says it will drop legal proceedings against the former billionaire if he pays $12 million before the end of the current financial year. Shares in Blackwood Corporation ended the session steady at $0.05. 
 
Shares in Ten Network Holdings Limited (ASX:TEN) dropped after the media company secured the rights to broadcast the domestic Twenty20 competition for reportedly up to $100 million.
 
Shares in Grange Resources Limited (ASX:GRR) fell after the pellet producer announced Wayne Bould will replace Richard Mehan as Managing Director from today and the company will close its Perth office and relocate completely to Tasmania this month. 
 
Shares in Perth-based ISS Group Limited (ASX:ISS) jumped more than 45 per cent after the information and technology company scored a takeover bid from US-based P2 Energy Solutions, offering $0.33 per share. 
 
Shares in Rex Minerals Limited (ASX:RXM) rallied more than 50 after the minerals explorer inked a Chinese financing deal for the construction and development of its Hillside Project in South Australia. 

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was materials adding 81 points to close at 9,372.
The worst performing sector was consumer staples, losing 67 points to close at 9,565 points.

The best performing stock in the S&PASX 200 was Atlas Iron Limited (ASX:AGO), rising 8.5 per cent to close at $0.83. Shares in Perseus Mining Limited (ASX:PRU) and Senex Energy Limited (ASX:SXY) also closed higher.
 
The worst performing stock was Billabong International Limited (ASX:BBG), dropping 49.45 per cent to close at $0.23. Shares in Buru Energy Limited (ASX:BRU and SMS Management & Technology Limited (ASX:SMX) also closed lower. 
 
Commodities

Gold is trading at $US1,409 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.27 down at $US93.18 a barrel.

The Australian dollar

The Australian dollar is buying 97.31 US cents.  

Are you a 708 sophisticated investor?

A sophisticated investor is defined under Section 708 of the Corporations Act (net assets of $2.5 million or annual incomes in excess of $250,000).

They are eligible to receive information regarding wholesale investment opportunities that are not available to regular or retail investors.

Please subscribe if you would like to be alerted to these types of opportunities.