Market flatlines despite robust results

THE sharemarket finished almost unchanged yesterday despite a string of solid earnings results and a successful resolution to the Greek bailout saga.

THE sharemarket finished almost unchanged yesterday despite a string of solid earnings results and a successful resolution to the Greek bailout saga.

The S&P/ASX 200 Index was up 1.9 points at 4293.1.

IG Markets market strategist Stan Shamu said earnings results had driven the key indices higher, towards a key resistance level of 4300 points.

Mr Shamu said the energy sector led the gains after the oil price jumped and Woodside Petroleum delivered a solid result.

Woodside's full-year profit fell by 4.3 per cent due to the cost of delays to its Pluto liquefied natural gas project. But stripping out such non-recurring costs, the company's underlying profit was up 16.7 per cent at $1.56 billion.

Woodside closed up 91?, or 2.5 per cent, at $36.86.

Among other energy stocks, Oil Search put on 24?, or 3.6 per cent, to $6.96 while Santos gained 19?, or 1.4 per cent, to $14.31.

Seek posted a record first-half profit of $60.6 million, and its shares gained 61? to $6.31.

Blood products and vaccines maker CSL reported a 3.4 per cent slide in net profit to $483.261 million but upgraded its forecast for full-year profit growth. CSL rose 77?, or 2.5 per cent, to $31.74.

Suncorp said it would pass on more insurance premium rises to offset claims costs after Melbourne's Christmas Day hailstorms topped off the company's worst year for natural disasters. Suncorp backtracked 18?, or 2.1 per cent, to $8.25.

Shares in Ten Network Holdings tumbled to a two-year low after the free-to-air broadcaster forecast a steep drop in earnings and revenue. Ten finished down 8? at 78?.

Broadcaster and newspaper publisher Seven West put on 26? to $3.79 after it said a 40 per cent share of the lucrative free-to-air metropolitan television advertising market was within reach.

BHP Billiton was down 3? at $36.41 and Rio Tinto was 63? weaker at $68.53.

The spot price of gold in Sydney closed up $US16.70 at $US1756.25 an ounce.

Newcrest was up 75?, or 2.1 per cent, at $35.85 after it received conditional approval for a secondary listing on Canada's Toronto Stock Exchange.

Steel maker and miner OneSteel was the biggest mover by volume, up 15.9 per cent at 95? after almost 88 million of the company's shares had changed hands.

It was also the top performer on the S&P/ASX 100 Index, a day after flagging a better second-half result and job cuts following a $74 million interim net loss. AAP

Related Articles