The Australian share market held onto most of its early gains and closed 0.4 per cent higher.
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 22 points up to finish at 5,457.
The value of trades was $3.2 billion on volume of 516 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA)
, BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP)
and Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC)
On the futures market the SPI is 20 points up.
The ABS says there has been a 7.6 per cent lift in total lending finance in June. The result was driven by a 12.1 per cent surge in business lending and total new lending came in at $72.9 billion, the highest level since January 2008, pre-GFC.
JB Hi-Fi Limited (ASX:JBH)
has reported a 10.3 per cent rise in net profit for the full 2014 financial year. The electronics retailer generated a net profit of $128.4 million, in line with guidance. Revenue also met guidance by growing 5.3 per cent over the year, but this guidance was cut in May from an earlier forecast of 6 to 8 per cent. JB Hi Fi will pay a fully-franked final dividend of 29 cents per share taking the full year payout to 84 cents in new CEO Richard Murrays first year at the helm. Looking ahead JB Hi-Fi has cautioned its first half sales will be impacted by lower tablet sales but the company remains positive about a pipeline of new products. Shares in JB Hi-Fi closed 7.9 per cent down to $17.84.
Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX:WPL) has acquired acreage off the coast of Gabon, a Central African country located on the west coast of the continent. The oil and gas producer has bought a 40 per cent interest in an exploration, exploitation and production sharing contract in the Gabon coastal basin. The contract has a seismic commitment and options for future drilling. The remaining 60 per cent is held by Noble Energy who is the operator. Woodside Petroleum has not revealed how much it paid for what it calls significant acreage in a high-graded emerging oil-prone province.CEO Peter Coleman says the purchase is a good fit for Woodside’s core capabilities in deepwater exploration which builds on recent acquisitions in Tanzania and Morocco. Shares in Woodside have risen 0.22 per cent to $41.69.
Treasury Wine Estates Limited (ASX:TWE)
has revealed another takeover bid just one week after receiving a sweetened offer of $5.20 from Kohlberg Kravis and Rhone Capital. The latest anonymous suitor is offering $5.20 per share through a scheme of arrangement.
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited (ASX:BEN)
has boosted its net profit by nearly 6 per cent and cash earnings by 10 per cent in the 2014 financial year.
G8 Education Limited (ASX:GEM)
has reported a 59 per cent jump in first half revenue on the back of an aggressive growth policy.
And embattled transport company McAleese Limited (ASX:MCS)
has announced the $65 million sale of its Liquip business for a $45 million profit to be booked in 2015. The company also said it expects 2014 earnings to come in at the upper end of guidance
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was real estate investment trusts adding 1.2 per cent to close at 1,097. The worst performing sector was consumer discretionary, losing 0.1 per cent to close at 1,778 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was REA Group, rising 5.19 per cent to close at $45.00. Shares in Horizon Oil and Treasury Wine Estates also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was BC Iron, dropping 9.67 per cent to close at $2.99 after announcing an off-market takeover offer for Iron Ore Holdings. Shares in JB Hi-Fi and Beadell Resources also closed lower.
Vista Group International Limited (ASX:VGI)
) started trading today. The cinema software developer floated with an issue price of $2.35, opened at $2.35 and a closed at $2.30.
Gold is trading at $US1,306 an ounce. Light crude is $0.31 up at $US97.65 a barrel. The Australian dollar is buying 92.75 US cents