11/10/2017 - 11:32

BN30 index nears record high

11/10/2017 - 11:32

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Investors appear to have shaken off a drop in gold and iron ore prices at the end of September to back Western Australian businesses, with the Business News BN30 index of local shares closing the September quarter near record highs.

BN30 index nears record high
Iron ore is the state's single largest export.

Investors appear to have shaken off a drop in gold and iron ore prices at the end of September to back Western Australian businesses, with the Business News BN30 index of local shares closing the September quarter close to a record high.

The index, which is an unweighted average of 30 WA-focused stocks chosen by Business News, closed the quarter at a value of 126.1, about 10.2 per cent higher than the same point in 2016, and up around 26 per cent from its start in January last year.

That compares with an increase in the ASX 200, also tracked by the BNiQ Search Engine, of just 3.8 per cent across the same 12-month period.

The lift comes despite a retracement of the iron ore price in recent weeks, which closed the quarter at $US62 per tonne, about 12 per cent up from a year previously but well down from highs of nearly $US80 in the past three months.

Gold also tailed off at the end of September, closing the quarter at $US1,287 per ounce, falling from $US1,323.7/oz at the same point in 2016.

Corporate transactions were down slightly, according to the BNiQ Search Engine, with 191 deals in the quarter compared with 220 in September 2016.

Those deals were worth $4.8 billion, a drop from $5.6 billion in the corresponding period last year, although that number had been boosted by the sale of the Keystart loan book.

Data in the BNiQ Search Engine show a few other telling numbers.

Cobalt is clearly still on the radar, with shares in junior miner European Cobalt surging in recent weeks to give the company a one-year total shareholder return to the end of September of 16,400 per cent, topping the TSR ranking.

That was driven by extensions of its Dobsina copper, nickel, cobalt project in central Slovakia.

Seven local directors made share acquisitions in their companies of more than $1 million, including Altura Mining director Allan Buckler, who acquired $2.9 million of shares in the lithium hopeful.

The purchase was in an off-market trade through entity The ACB Family Trust, and took his total holdings in Altura to around $52.6 million.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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