The Australian share market has finished the day sharply higher, gaining 1.6 per cent following a broad based rally that saw approximately $23 billion added to the markets capitalization. Investors regathered their nerve following some Chinese reassurances surrounding the possibility of a credit crunch, with all the major sectors finishing stronger.
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 76 points up to finish at 4,732. The value of trades was $4.7 billion on volume of 858 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP)
, ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ)
and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA)
On the futures market the SPI is 59 points up.
Singapore Telecommunications Limited (ASX:SGT)
has reported a 12 per cent fall in its full year net profit of $2.98 billion, hit by a series of one off costs including workforce restructuring at Australian telco Optus. CEO Chua Sock Koong says the result was a resilient one and paved the way for the dual listed Singtel to allocate significant funds towards the pursuit of digital acquisitions in the next three years. Shares in Singtel closed 0.66 per cent up at $3.07.
Aquila Resources Limited (ASX:AQA)
has delayed construction of its Eagle Downs coal project in Queensland due to continuing softness in the coal price environment. The minerals explorer says the deferral could eventually improve the project’s economics, if contracts can be executed at a lower cost when the Australian dollar is lower. Shares in Aquila Resources closed 2.02 per cent higher at $1.77.
Paladin Energy Limited (ASX:PDN)
shares weakened today after the uranium producer has delayed the outcome of a strategic initiative regarding the sale of a minority equity position in its flagship Langer Heinrich mine in Namibia.
Mesoblast limited (ASX:MSB)
has received approvals from Australian ethics committees to commence a Phase 2 Clinical trial of a proprietary cell platform designed to treat diabetes and chronic kidney disease.
APA Group (ASX:APA)
has inked a non-binding agreement with Armour Energy Limited (ASX:AJQ)
to transport gas from Armour’s north Australian gas projects to eastern Australia and Northern Territory gas markets.
Moly Mines Limited (ASX:MOL)
shares surged more than 14 per cent today after the minerals explorer agreed to sell iron ore to processing company Mineral Resources Limited (ASX:MIN)
for $38 million.
Best and worst performers
All the major sectors finished higher. The best performing sector was Telco services adding 45 points to close at 1,604.
The sector with the fewest gains was Healthcare, adding 18 points to close at 12,941.
The best performing stock in the S&PASX 200 was Linc Energy Limited (ASX:LNC)
, rising 11.66 per cent to close at $0.91. Shares in Transfield Services Limited (ASX:TSE)
and Senex Energy Limited (ASX:SXY)
also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Discovery Metals Limited (ASX:DML)
, dropping 18.75 per cent to close at $0.13. Shares in OceanaGold Corporation (ASX:OGC)
and Perseus Mining Limited (ASX:PRU)
also closed lower.
Gold is trading at $US1,251 an ounce. Light crude is $0.72 down at $US94.60 a barrel.
The Australian dollar
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.9277.