MARKET NEWS

Banks lead market higher
29/04/2016 5:15 PM

The share market ended the week with a modest gain as investors await next week's Reserve Bank rate decision and earnings reports from three of the big four banks.

CMC Markets chief market analyst Ric Spooner said it was a lacklustre session.

"Although we're up, the overall direction of the market is a bit sideways in the last couple of days - we're still trading inside the range of Wednesday's market," he said.

"Having said that, we've seen a little bit of support for the yield stocks - we've seen the banks being bought."

A higher price for oil had also attracted buyers in the resources sector, Mr Spooner said.

"A significant event now for the Australian market now will be next week's Reserve Bank meeting," Mr Spooner said.

"The other big thing is the three big banks results (ANZ, Westpac and National Australia Bank) - that could certainly be a catalyst for market sentiment."

Investors would also look for direction from the continuing US company reporting season, and indications as to whether higher commodity prices could be sustained.

Among the major banks, National Australia Bank gained 18 cents to $27.19, ANZ lifted 25 cents to $24.27, Westpac added 38 cents to $31.05 and Commonwealth Bank firmed four cents to $73.89.

BHP Billiton added 11 cents to $20.68, Fortescue Metals jumped 16 cents to $3.41 and Rio Tinto improved $1.26 at $51.55.

Oil and gas producer Woodside Petroleum advanced 62 cents to $28.34 and Santos rose 10 cents to $4.80.

Detention centre operator Broadspectrum soared 36 cents, or 32 per cent, to $1.48 after its board reversed its stance on a takeover offer from Spanish infrastructure giant Ferrovial, recommending its shareholders accept the deal.

KEY FACTS:

* On Friday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 26.8 points, or 0.51 per cent, at 5,252.2 points.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 26.6 points, or 0.5 per cent, at 5,316.0 points.

* The June share price index futures contract was up 30 points at 5,231 points, with 31,967 contracts traded.

* The price of gold in Sydney at 1700 AEST was $US1,1274.30 per fine ounce, up $US19.90 on Thursday's price of $US1,254.40.

* National turnover was 3.1 billion securities traded, worth $6.56 billion.

Banks lead Aust market modestly higher
29/04/2016 4:38 PM

The Australian share market has closed modestly higher, led by the banks, as investors await next week's Reserve Bank of Australia decision on interest rates and financial reports from three of the big four banks.

CMC Markets chief market analyst Ric Spooner said although the local market had finished higher on Friday, trading was lacklustre.

"Although we're up, the overall direction of the market is a bit sideways, I think, in the last couple of days - we're still trading inside the range of Wednesday's market," Mr Spooner said.

"Having said that, we've seen a little bit of support for the yield stocks - we've seen the banks being bought."

Mr Spooner said a higher price for oil had also attracted some buyers towards resources and energy stocks.

"A significant event now for the Australian market now will be next week's Reserve Bank meeting," Mr Spooner said.

"The other big thing is the three big banks results (from ANZ, Westpac and National Australia Bank) - that could certainly be a catalyst for market sentiment."

Investors would also look for direction from the continuing US company reporting season, and indications as to whether higher commodity prices could be sustained.

Among the major banks, National Australia Bank was 18 cents higher at $27.19, ANZ lifted 25 cents to $24.27, Westpac added 38 cents to $31.05, and Commonwealth Bank firmed four cents to $73.89.

In the resources sector, global miner BHP Billiton was up 11 cents at $20.68, and Fortescue Metals jumped 16 cents to $3.41.

Rio Tinto improved $1.26 at $51.55. Rio is buying back $US1.36 billion of its 2017 corporate notes as part of efforts to reduce gross debt.

Atlas Iron picked up 0.1 cents at 2.3 cents after the struggling iron ore miner received court approval to proceed with a debt restructuring that could save it millions in interest payments.

Oil and gas producer Woodside Petroleum advanced 62 cents to $28.34, and Santos rose 10 cents to $4.80.

Detention centre operator Broadspectrum soared 36 cents, or 32.14 per cent, to $1.48 after its board reversed its earlier decision and recommended a takeover offer by Spanish infrastructure giant Ferrovial.

KEY FACTS:

* At 1626 AEST, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 26.8 points, or 0.51 per cent, at 5,252.2 points.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 26.6 points, or 0.5 per cent, at 5,316.0 points.

* The June share price index futures contract was up 26 points at 5,227 points, with 31,573 contracts traded.

* National turnover was 3.1 billion securities traded, worth $6.56 billion.

Banks lead Aust market higher
29/04/2016 4:18 PM

The Australian share market has closed modestly higher, led by the banks, as investors await next week's RBA decision on interest rates and financial reports from three of the big four banks.

At 1615 AEST, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was up 26.8 points, or 0.51 per cent, at 5,252.2 points, and the broader All Ordinaries index was up 26.6 points, or 0.5 per cent, at 5,316.0 points.

The June share price index futures contract was up 30 points at 5,231 points, with 29,892 contracts traded, according to preliminary calculations.