The Australian sharemarket hit a 10 and a half year high briefly yesterday before throwing up its hands and falling back.
The ASX 200 index ended up 13.7 points, or 0.2%, to 6286 points, retreating from a session high of 6301.5 points, a level not seen in 10 and a half years (and the forecast end of year figure from the AMP’s Dr Shane Oliver).
BHP shares rose as BP emerged as the front-runner to buy the company’s US onshore oil and gas operations in an offer reportedly worth $13.45 billion ($US10 billion). BHP’s shares jumped 2.1% to $33.86.
Commonwealth Bank shares continued their rebound and were up half a per cent yesterday, NAB shares rose 0.2% and ANZ shares ended 0.4% higher. Macquarie shares completed a solid day for the banks with a rise of 0.5%.
Lithium miners were back in vogue – Pilbara Minerals and Galaxy Resources rose after a positive note from Goldman Sachs. Pilbara Minerals rose 5.9% to 99 cents while Galaxy Resources were up 3.5% to $3.23.
Vocus Group continued the clean out at the top – non-executive directors Jon Brett and Rhoda Phillippo went as part of board and senior management renewal process. Vocus Chairman Bob Mansfield said the this process was now in its final stages and the board would finalise two additional independent non-executive directors. Its shares rose 3.8% to $2.47.
Independence Group released its preliminary metal production report for the June quarter and 2018 financial year. Despite its full year results showing its production was 3% below low end guidance, nickel production rose 23% for the quarter. It shares closed 2.9% higher at $5.05.
Domino’s Pizza share fell 3.8% to $47.22 after the NZ arm was fined for underpaying staff.
But Elders shares rose nearly 2% after Friday’s sell off on a e=weak earnings update that revealed the company is being whacked by the impact of the spreading drought in eastern Australia.