The Australian market closed higher, adding to last weak’s gains.
Here’s today’s scoreboard:
- S&P ASX 200: 5,001.20 +48.40 +0.98%
- All Ordinaries: 5,056.60 +48.32 +0.96%
- AUD/USD: 0.7173 +0.0022 +0.31%
The ASX 200 index finally broke back through the 5000 mark, building on the almost 4% rise last week. The losses are narrowing but the index is still down 5.5% from the start of 2016.
Nine out of ten sectors added weight with the big miners higher. BHP was up 3.4% to $17.18 and Fortescue Metals 9% to $2.17.
Slater and Gordon, which in December abandoned its profit guidance after trouble with its UK business, rose 14.6% to $0.785 for no apparent reason. The shares are still well down from a 12 month high of $8.
Among companies announcing results:
G8 Education shares lost more than 3% to close at $3.30 despite half year profits rising 68% to $88.6 million.
Brambles added 8.5% to $12 after raising its profit guidance and posting a 2% rise in first half profit to $290.9 million.
Steel and iron ore producer Arrium shares jumped 40% to $0.021 after revealing a recapitalisation plans. GSO Capital Partners, a unit of Blackstone, is providing up to $US927 million.
The top stories Monday:
1. A barnstorming start to the week. Chinese stocks rally after the nation’s top securities regulator got sacked.
2. Tipping the balance of power. Malcolm Turnbull is moving to crush the chances of tiny parties wielding huge Senate power.
3. Profit doubles. BlueScope’s relentless cost cutting in response to a global oversupply for steel has paid off. Bluescope shares added 1.6% to close at $5.57.
4. Stem cells. Shares in biotech company Mesoblast are soaring again, this time because its treatment has been found effective in helping children survive bone marrow transplants. Its shares closed 10.3% higher at $1.66.
5. The star effect. Southern Cross Austereo, which brought in radio drive show hosts Hamish Blake and Andy Lee to boost its audience, posted a 25.1% rise in profit to $43.4 million. The shares closed 0.9% higher at $1.095.
6. Bad debts. The profits of catalogue printing group PMP have been hit by a $2.7 million bad debt load from electronics retailer Dick Smith going into voluntary administration.
7. Class action settled. Gold miner Newcrest has agreed to pay $36 million to disgruntled shareholders who claimed they were disadvantaged by an alleged breach of continuous disclosure rules. Newcrest closed just 0.25% down at $15.86.
8. The big slow. Global industrial production (IP) — the output from mining, utilities and manufacturing firms — finished 2015 with a whimper, recording the slowest increase seen since the global financial crisis.
9. Twice as fast. Telstra will be upgrading its 4GX mobile network throughout the year to support the LTE Category 16 standard, which means speeds up to 1GB per second.
10. The European view. The most surprising things about Australia, according to an Italian expat.
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