Shares close stronger after volatile session

Ragtrader Pacific Brands, owner of Bonds and Berlei was the worst-performing stock in the ASX 200, dropping 9. 5 per cent to 52. 5¢, as analysts mulled the sale of its workwear division to Wesfarmers and a strategy to divest more non -core brands announced this week. 2 Hotel mogul Jerry Schwartz wants a helipad for … 3 Malaysia Air may lay off thousands and replace CEO, … 5 Chevron’s Gorgon the latest LNG mega-project hit by …

Engineering group WorleyParsons added 4. 1 per cent to $17. 88 as it showed that net profit fell 23 per cent over the 12 months to June, and confirming the company slashing 1700 jobs over the period.

Construction and property group Lend Lease gained 1. 5 per cent to $13. 95 after reporting a 50 per cent jump in full-year profit after selling its stake in a British shopping centre.

In domestic economic news on Wednesday, Australian Bureau of Statistics data showed that total construction work carried out in the June quarter slipped 1. 2 per cent.

Australian shares closed a volatile session stronger as official data showed construction activity fell for the third quarter in a row, company results season delivered mixed results, and a swag of big names dipped after trading ex-dividend.

As the European Central Bank mulls further easing monetary policy, global equity markets are riding a wave of optimism led by the US. "Despite the strong recovery of the past few years leading up to the S&P 500 reaching the key 2000 landmark, I remain bullish on the outlook and feel the strength and duration of the resurgence will surprise many," Fidelity Worldwide Investment chief investment officer Dominic Rossi said.

Telecommunications was the worst-performing sector, down 3. 3 per cent, as Telstra Corporation dropped 21¢ to $5. 53 after trading without the rights to its 15¢ per share final dividend.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0. 2 per cent, on Wednesday to 5651. 2 points, while the broader All Ordinaries Index rose 0. 3 per cent to 5648. 9 points.

Iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group was 0. 7 per cent stronger at $4. 31, despite iron ore futures traders tipping another fall in the spot price overnight.

Read more here: SMH


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