Share market finishes on a high despite US market, oil price drops

The share market has closed higher for the third time this year, shrugging off a volatile session on the US market and another drop in oil prices.

Wall Street closed down 1 per cent, rebounding from much heavier losses earlier in the session, as oil recovered some ground.

The sigh of relief was heard in Australia where the market opened more than 1 per cent higher.

By the close, the market lost steam as Chinese stocks dipped into the red.

The All Ordinaries index gained 21 points to close at 4,918.

The ASX 200 index added 0.5 per cent to finish on 4,864.

Telecommunications stocks led the gains after Telstra announced plans to buy its cloud computing provider Kloud.

Telstra added 2.6 per cent to $5.52.

Energy stocks finished higher despite oil dropping below $US27 a barrel.

Woodside Petroleum bucked the trend after flagging a $1 billion write-down of its oil and gas properties in its fourth quarter production report.

The company was one of many hit by the price slump.

After tax, the write-downs are expected to come in between $700-$850 million.

Woodside shares closed down 1.5 per cent at $25.

Broadspectrum urges shareholders to reject Ferrovial bid

The operator of Australia's offshore detention centres, Broadspectrum, has rebuffed a second takeover bid from a Spanish infrastructure firm.

The board of the company formerly known as Transfield Services said the $1.35-a-share bid from Ferrovial significantly undervalued the company.

Broadspectrum urged shareholders to reject the unsolicited approach.

Shares closed down 1.2 per cent at $1.24.

The big four banks closed mostly lower — NAB was the only one to rise, up 0.3 per cent to $26.82.

Just after 5:00pm (AEDT), the local currency was buying 69 US cents, 63.3 euro cents, 80.6 Japanese yen and 48.6 British pence.

Spot gold was fetching $US1,102 an ounce while West Texas crude was lower at $US26.63 a barrel and Tapis crude was fetching $US29.10 a barrel.

Source: ABC News

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