EVENING REPORT (5pm AEST)
It was a solid start to the trading week, the All Ordinaries Index (XAO) adding just over 31 points by the close of 0.6 per cent to 5432.7 points after China factory data came in above expectations.
The "flash" June reading for the purchasing managers index in China was 50.8 in June, up from 49.4 in May and above the 49.7 forecast. The AUD spiked to US94.4c.
Every sector on our market closed higher, with mining stocks leading the way, rising 1.4 per cent thanks to generally positive movement in commodities markets. Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) rose by 4 per cent to $4.39 thanks to a higher iron ore price, while Rio Tinto (RIO) was up 2.6 per cent.
Ten Network (TEN) shares rose 2 per cent to 25c on media reports a US based private equity group is considering a takeover bid for the struggling broadcaster.
Echo Entertainment (EGP) rose 2.6 per cent to $3.16 as the company teamed with a Hong Kong bidder in its battle against Crown Limited (CWN) to secure Brisbane's second casino licence. There are now three bidders including China's Greenland, with a decision by the Queensland government due next year. EGP rose 2.6 per cent to $3.16 while CWN was firmer by 0.9 per cent to $15.10.
After the closing bell, Westfield Retail Trust (WRT) announced to the ASX that the NSW Supreme Court had approved the tie-up of WRT with Westfield Group's (WDC) Australian and New Zealand shopping centre assets to form a new company Scentre Group. Scentre Group securities will begin trading this Wednesday. Today, WRT rose 1.3 per cent to $3.25 while WDC was up 0.6 per cent to $10.88.
LNG shares fell 8.4 per cent today to $2.19.
On the market overall, a total of 2 billion shares changed hands, worth $4.3 billion. 520 were up, 535 were down and 429 were unchanged.
At 4.45pm AEST the SFE 200 Futures Index was at 5408, up 28 points.
Ahead tonight, the US ´´flash´´ manufacturing index is released with existing home sales and the national activity index.
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