News: Market Wrap: Aus shares higher for 10th day

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    The Australian share market traded consistently higher today to finish 1.2 per cent up and record its 10th day of gains in a row.
     
    Following the cut in the cash rate by the RBA yesterday we’ve seen Commonwealth Bank and Westpac both cut their home loan rates, with ANZ and NAB yet to signal a move.
     
    Rising commodity prices also helped the Aussie dollar claw back some ground today to trade above $US0.78 this afternoon. 
     
    The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 70 points up to finish at 5,777.
     
    The value of trades was $7.08 billion on volume of 1.16 billion shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP), Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC) and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA).
     
    On the futures market the SPI is 78 points up.

    Company news
     
    Echo Entertainment Group Limited (ASX:EGP) reports stronger profits in the first half thanks to its domestic and International VIP Rebate businesses. The casino owner and operator boosted its net profit by 111 per cent to $97.1 million while its normalised net profit gained 78 per cent to $112.6 million. Echo Entertainment closed 2.13 per cent down at $4.14 
     
    Westfield Corporation (ASX:WFD) has sold a 47.4 per cent stake in three US malls to O'Connor Capital Partners to form a joint venture with the private real estate developer. Westfield says the series of transactions will result in a $925 million joint venture with O'Connor Capital Partners. Shares in Westfield closed 1.47 per cent down at $10.08
     
    Downer EDI Limited (ASX:DOW) has struck a 10-year maintenance agreement with Pacific National valued at about $1 billion.
     
    Ramelius Resources Limited (ASX:RMS) says it expects to report a first half profit of $5.7 million
     
    Icon Energy Limited (ASX:ICN) says the Supreme Court of Queensland has struck out a claim made against the company.
     
    Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) has become the first of the Big Four Banks to pass on the Reserve Bank of Australia’s rate cut.
     
    Best and worst performers

    The best performing sector was materials adding 3.3 per cent to close at 9,390. The worst performing sector was telco services, losing 1 per cent to close at 2,296 points.
     
    The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Atlas Iron Limited (ASX:AGO), rising 27.27 per cent to close at $0.21. Shares in BC Iron Limited (ASX:BCI) and Senex Energy Limited (ASX:SXY) also closed higher.
     
    The worst performing stock was Navitas Limited (ASX:NVT), dropping 7.37 per cent to close at $4.40. Shares in Kathmandu Holdings Limited (ASX:KMD) and Nufarm Limited (ASX:NUF) also closed lower. 
     
    Commodities

    Gold is trading at $US1,265 an ounce.
    Light crude is $3.48 up at $US53.05 a barrel.
    The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7826
 
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