The Australian share market closed higher on Wednesday, following three sessions of losses and after a mixed night on global share markets. The All Ordinaries Index (XAO) added 40.6pts by close to 5270.1pts, just 7 points lower than the intra-day high.
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on May 1, 2012.
Financial and energy stocks led the gains, with shares in the National Australia Bank (NAB) the best out of the big four. A firmer crude oil price saw energy stocks gain 1.2 per cent.
In company news, investors responded well to David Jones (DJS) solid full year result. The upmarket retailer reported a FY13 profit of $95.2 million, down 5.9 per cent on last year. The result included a $9.1 million tax charge related to selling its electronics division to Dick Smith. DJS will pay shareholders a final dividend of 7 cents per share. DJS rose 4.9 per cent today to $2.99. Myer Limited (MYR) was up 0.8 per cent to $2.67.
Meanwhile, global crop protection company Nufarm (NUF) reported a 28 per cent fall in underlying profit to $83.2 million, blaming lower demand for crop protection chemicals for the result. NUF expects better weather will lift underlying earnings in the current financial year. The company will pay a final dividend of 5 cents per share. NUF fell 0.4 per cent today to $4.86.
Telstra (TLS) has announced 1,100 jobs will go as part of a restructure of its operations business. TLS shares closed steady at $4.93.
On the market overall, a total of 1.6 billion shares changed hands, worth $4.6 billion. 538 were up, 376 were down and 337 were unchanged.
At 4.30pm AEST the SFE 200 Futures Index was at 5275, up 33 points.
The Australian dollar lost ground today and was buying US93.72c at 4.30pm AEST.
Tonight, new home sales and durable goods orders are released in the United States.
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