Market Wrap: ASX rebounds in afternoon trade

Market Reports

The Australian share market has rebounded from an early slide to improve 0.98 per cent in afternoon trade. The turning point came after higher-than-expected manufacturing figures from China were released. The big four banks and BHP led the recovery advance. 
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 53 points up to finish at 5,416. 
 
The value of trades was $5.07 billion on volume of 770 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 56 points up.
 
Economic news

In China the HSBC Flash Manufacturing PMI for September came in higher than expected at 50.5, a two month high and up from 50.2 in August. Most analysts had been expecting a reading of 50 – right on the cusp between contraction and expansion. The flash index is published ahead of final PMI data. 
 
Back home, The ANZ-Roy Morgan Index of consumer confidence has lifted slightly to 112.9, up from 111.3 a week ago. 
 
Company news
 
Nufarm Limited (ASX:NUF) reported drop in annual net profit on the back of one-off restructuring costs. Profit was down 53 per cent to $37.7 million in the 2014 financial year,  impacted by $48.7 million of charges associated with the restructure of Nufarm’s Australia and New Zealand operations. Underlying profit lifted 4 per cent to $86.4 million, driven by growth in Nufarm’s South American and seeds businesses and lower corporate costs. The company believes it can continue to produce underlying growth into 2015. A final dividend of 5 cents per share has been declared. Shares in Nufarm closed 12.16 per cent higher at $4.52. 
 
TPG Telecom Limited (ASX:TPM) lifted full year net profit by 15 per cent to $172 million and forecast further growth ahead. 2014 revenue soared 34 per cent to $971 million with TPG saying the result is due to strong organic growth across the company’s consumer and corporate divisions. TPG is forecasting further strong growth with earnings guidance of between $455 million and $460 million over the 2015 financial year. A fully franked final dividend of 4.75 cents per share has been declared, taking the full year payout to 9.25 cent per share. Shares in TPG added 6.06 per cent to close at $7.00.
 
Indophil Resources NL (ASX:IRN) has elected to sell 100 per cent of its shares to Alsons Prime Investments Corporation for $0.30 cash per share valuing the deal at $361 million. 
 
Kathmandu Holdings Limited (ASX:KMD, NZX:KMD) produced a better-than-anticipated result for 2014. Net profit dipped just 4.5 per cent to $38.6 million dollars despite a slow start to the clothing retailer’s winter sales. 
 
New Hope Corporation Limited (ASX:NHC) reported a 21 per cent sag in full year net profit due to lower coal prices and the high Australian dollar. However the company retains $1.1 billion in cash and says it’s well placed to withstand the current downturn and take advantage of opportunities in the current market conditions. 
 
And Whitehaven Coal Limited (ASX:WHC) will seek to form a joint venture after receiving regulatory approval for its Vickery coal project in New South Wales’ Gunnedah Basin. 
 
Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was telco services adding 1.9 per cent to close at 1,914. The worst performing sector was real estate investment trusts, losing 0.2 per cent to close at 1,089 points.
 
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Nufarm, rising 12.16 per cent to close at $4.52. Shares in TPG Telecom and Horizon Oil also closed higher.
 
The worst performing stock was Atlas Iron, dropping 4.72 per cent to close at $0.51. Shares in Tassal Group and Beadell Resources also closed lower. 
 
IPOs

Winchester Energy Limited (ASX:WEL) started trading today. The oil and gas explorer listed with an issue price of $0.20, opened at $0.21 and a closed at $0.19.    
 
Commodities

Gold is trading at $US1,218 an ounce. Light crude is $0.89 cents lower at $US91.52 a barrel. The Australian dollar is buying 89.10 US cents.