Australian stocks closed slightly higher on the first session of a new week. Here’s the scoreboard:
- S&P ASX 200: 5,367.70 +11.16 +0.21%
- All Ordinaries: 5,368.60 +8.59 +0.16%
- AUD/USD: 0.7374 -0.0006 -0.08%
On Wall St, the S&P 500 closed Friday 0.4% higher. On the local market, six out of ten sectors were stronger but made hardly a scratch on last week’s 2.1% loss.
Energy stocks traded lower, following the price of oil. Woodside was down 0.76% to $32.59 and Oil Search 2.24% to $6.55.
The banks rallied with Westpac up 1.95% to $31.94, NAB 1.57% to $32.26 and the ANZ 0.79% to $29.52.
The top stories for Monday:
1. The Commonwealth Bank has picked up $2.1 billion from institutions in the first part of its equity raising to prepare for stricter capital rules. CBA closed down 1.04% to $81.27 after coming out of a trading halt since the middle of last week.
2. Santos, whose shares lost almost 8% to $5.99 on Friday, today moved to stop rumours the energy company is about to launch an equity raising. It closed down just 0.17% to $5.98.
3. Asciano has gone into a trading halt following speculation that the ports and rail group will recommend acceptance of a $9 billion takeover from Brookfield Infrastructure Partners.
4. Back in the black. Newcrest Mining has posted a better than expected 19% rise in underlying full year profit to $515 million. It closed up 4.48% to $11.44.
5. Two reasons why the Australian dollar will keep getting hosed: the risk of a rise in US interest rates next month and continued concerns about China’s economy and its currency.
6. The banks. One analyst says Australian bank shares, after recent falls, are “increasingly good value”.
7. The property bubble? The ANZ economics team today highlighted a chart, and a relationship, between Sydney house price rises and answers from NSW in the “time to buy a dwelling” section of the Westpac Consumer sentiment survey.