Australian Stock Market Report – AFternoon 3/26/14
By Juliette Saly, CommSec Market Analyst | March 26, 2014 5:36 PM EST
The Australian share market rose convincingly today, helped out by strong gains from our mining players and a positive offshore lead. The All Ordinaries Index (XAO) closed off the highs of the day, but managed to rise 36.2 points or 0.7 per cent by close to 5387.2.
In late afternoon trade, the Federal Government announced it would be selling off the health insurer Medibank Private in an initial public offering (IPO). The specific timing and pricing of the IPO is yet to be revealed, but it's expected to occur within the 2014/15 financial year. The Government announced there is no reason for it to own or operate a private health fund.
In other news today, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) gave the green light to Insurance Australia Group (IAG) to purchase Wesfarmer's (WES) insurance division in a $1.85 billion deal. The ACCC said the deal would not substantially weaken competition in the insurance market. The deal still requires approval from Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey, APRA and several New Zealand regulators. IAG rose by 1.1 per cent to $5.50 today while WES fell 0.4 per cent to $41.69.
Westfield Group (WDC) has secured $22 billion in funding for its plans to split its Australian and New Zealand operations from its international shopping centres. The Trans-Tasman operations will merge with Westfield Retail Trust (WRT) to create a new company Scentre Group while the international business will be renamed Westfield Corporation. WDC shares were down 0.3 per cent to $10.20 today while WRT fell 1.3 per cent to $3.01.
Sigma Pharmaceuticals (SIP) announced plans to buy wholesaler and distributor Central Healthcare for $24.5 million. Central Healthcare provides pharmaceuticals to hospitals and pharmacies in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and the ACT. SIP shares rose 3.3 per cent to 63c today.
In economic news, the Reserve Bank Governor has delivered a speech titled "The Economic Outlook" at the annual Credit Suisse Asian Investment Conference in Hong Kong. The Governor has provided the clearest message yet that policymakers are paying close attention to the rise in house prices and the need to ensure that borrowings remain within acceptable levels.
The Australian dollar rose on Governor Stevens' comments and was nudging US92c in afternoon trade.
2.1 billion shares changed hands today, worth $5.6 billion. 454 were up, 483 were down and 341 were unchanged.
Ahead tonight, durable goods orders are released in the US.
More from IBT Markets:
Follow us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Subscribe to get this delivered to your inbox daily
Most Popular Slideshows
- Manny Pacquiao Vs. Chris Algieri World Tour Kick Off Press Conference In Macau [PHOTOS]
- 2014 US Open Update (Day 4 - Men's Singles): Murray, Djokovic, Raonic and Isner Advance to 3rd Round [PHOTOS]
- Prince Harry & Camilla Thurlow Getting Serious, St. Tropez Holiday Before The Prince’s 30th Birthday [PHOTOS]
- Kate Middleton’s Mom Accused Of Being A Social Climber, Prince George Not Seen By Relatives
Join the Conversation
- Sept 19 iPhone 6 Release Date Confirmed as Apple Sets Sept 9 iWatch, 2 iPhones Intro - Report
- Hundreds of Men Rape Teen for Three Years
- iPhone 6 Release Date Update: 4.7-Inch Model Scores 65.8% In Screen-To-Size Ratio; A Surprise Entry Scales Top Spot [List Attached]
- Product Recall Alert: Hewlett-Packard Pulls Out 6M Power Cords from US, Canada Over Fire Hazard Concerns, Australia Also Affected
- ISIS Wants $6.6M and Release of Aafia Siddiqui in Exchange of Head of Female US Humanitarian Aid Worker, 1st American Fighting for Jihadis Dead
- Ukraine Ceasefire Looks Remote As Putin Talks Tough At Meeting With Poroshenko
- Google Nexus 6 Release May Be the New Google Nexus X Smartphone as New Details Emerge