Flat finish: Aus shares close 0.03% higher

Market Reports

by Adrian Tan

The market opened higher and peaked around lunchtime, before trending downwards, to finish just above water.

Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS), Telstra (ASX:TLS), Alumina (ASX:AWC) and AMP (ASX:AMP) were among the most traded stocks, and Materials companies were among the top performers. On a sector level, Materials, Utilities and Financials led the way, with most other sectors underperforming.

At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 was 0.03 per cent or 2.10 points higher at 7065.60.

Futures

The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a fall of 114 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a fall of 8 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a rise of 5 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 7 points for tomorrow morning.

Company news

Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY) and Orocobre (ASX:ORE) have agreed to a proposed AU$4 billion merger, pursuant to which Orocobre will acquire 100 per cent of the shares in Galaxy. The merger will create the world's fifth-largest lithium chemicals company.

Property fund manager Primewest (ASX:PWG) has entered into a bid implementation deed with specialist investment manager Centuria Capital Group (ASX:CNI). Under the terms of the deed, Centuria will make an off-market takeover offer for 100 per cent of Primewest securities, subject to various conditions.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Materials, up 0.78 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Energy, down 1.44 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Sims (ASX:SGM), closing 8.95 per cent higher at $16.56. It was followed by shares in Eagers Automotive (ASX:APE) and Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Zip Co (ASX:Z1P), closing 4.49 per cent lower at $8.94. It was followed by shares in PointsBet Holdings (ASX:PBH) and National Storage REIT (ASX:NSR).

Asian markets

Japan's Nikkei has lost 0.01 per cent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng has gained 0.6 per cent. The Shanghai Composite has gained 1.3 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1777.23 an ounce.
Iron ore is flat at US$178.43 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 1.56 per cent.
Light crude is $0.10 lower at US$60.75 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 77.43 US cents.

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