The S&P / ASX 200 Index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has risen 0.8% to 5,007.1, following strong leads from offshore markets overnight. Strong data out of China and the continued stimulus in Japan saw both the US Dow Jones and S&P 500 indices hit historic highs. The Dow was up 0.9% while the S&P 500 surged 1.2%.
The Australian dollar is trading over $1.05 against the greenback, fetching US 105.2 cents.
For those of you who follow bitcoins, the online currency, after briefly hitting US$266, the price crashed by more than 60% in the space of a few hours on Wednesday, before recovering to trade at around US$160.
These three stocks were the best performers in the top 200, rising more than 3%.
The Reject Shop Limited (ASX: TRS) added 71 cents or 4.6%, to close at $16.31, recovering some of the 8% fall the company has seen since the end of February. The Reject Shop has seen its price rise by 34% in the past year, and in February reported a 21% increase in net profit for the first half of 2013 financial year. Full year results could be impacted by the accelerated rollout of 40 new stores this financial year, after competitor Retail Adventures went into administration.
Fund manager Perpetual Limited (ASX: PPT) closed at $41.02, up $1.63 or 4.1%. The company has thoroughly outperformed the index since the start of the year, rising 18%, with financial services companies like Perpetual expected to benefit from the rising stock market. Consumers appear to be moving from cash and term deposits into the market, and fund managers will likely benefit from inflows into super and managed funds.
Western Areas (ASX: WSA) rose 3.4% to close at $3.35, providing a small amount of relief for shareholders who have seen the company’s share price fall more than 28% in recent times. The nickel miner had a lower than expected result for the first half of 2013 financial year, which may have contributed to the fall, and market commentators suggest the stock had been oversold, and was trading at levels last seen during the GFC, when nickel prices were much lower.
With its legendary, fully franked 28 cent dividend, Telstra is the darling of Aussie investors. Chances are even if you don’t own Telstra shares directly, your superannuation fund does. But with its share price skyrocketing over the past year, is Telstra past its prime? Click here for our brand-new report: Buy, Sell, or Hold Telstra?
The Motley Fool’s purpose is to help the world invest, better. Click here now for your free subscription to Take Stock, The Motley Fool’s free investing newsletter. Packed with stock ideas and investing advice, it is essential reading for anyone looking to build and grow their wealth in the years ahead. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson. Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King doesn’t own shares in any company mentioned.
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