It has been an upbeat day of trade for the Australian share market. After a sharp jump at the open following Wall Street’s record close the three major US indices, our local bourse managed to maintain momentum throughout the session.
There was a bit of yo-yo action though in the first two hours of trade, ahead of the ABS releasing their employment health check. But after the jobs data beat expectations, the ASX200 shot back up and held strong before closing 0.51 higher for the day.
The majority of sectors traded higher throughout the session, but only half closed higher, with Financials and Energy running for the lead spot as the outperforming sector. But if it was a race, Energy beat Financials home after oil prices gained by over 1 per cent overnight, when US crude stockpiles fell.
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 29 points up to finish at 5,762.
The value of trades was $6.1 billion on volume of 823 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) and Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC).
On the futures market the SPI is 39 points up.
The Nikkei is 0.61 per cent higher, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is 0.38 per cent up and the Shanghai Composite is 0.27 per cent higher.
Local economic news
Australia’s full-time employment rose for the 9th straight month (in June 2017).
It comes the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reported total employment rose by 26,000 people, with full-time employment growing by 30,000 jobs and part-time employment falling by 4,000 workers. Meantime, the unemployment rate fell to 5.6 per cent in June, in trend terms.
To company news
Neuren Pharmaceuticals Limited (ASX:NEU) has been grated US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for a face-to-face ‘Type B Meeting’ in October 2017. The company which develops brain injury and disorder treatment requested the End-of-Phase 2 meeting, to discuss the remaining development plan for trofinetide to treat Rett syndrome. Rett syndrome is a rare genetic postnatal neurological disorder. In October, the company’s clinical experts will present and discuss its Phase 3 product plans with the FDA. Shares in Neuren Pharmaceuticals Limited (ASX:NEU) closed 4.69 per cent lower to $0.06.
Santos (ASX:STO) has reported its production slightly fell in the second quarter of 2017, while its sales rose 16 per cent in the quarter, both compared to the Q1. Meantime, the gas company upgraded its 2017 production guidance, reduced its 2017 production cost guidance and its net debt (to US$2.9 billion at the end of quarter ending 30 June 2017).
Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) has reported second quarter sales revenue of US$867 million and production of 20.7 million barrels of oil equivalents (mmboe) for the group. The petroleum explorer and producer says its Pluto LNG project achieved record daily and weekly production, which was 3 per cent up on the quarter ending 30 June 2017.
Ansell (ASX:ANN) has launched a significant transformational program, following the sale of its sexual wellness business and will make a cash investment of US$70-$100million over three-years, with an additional US$20-$30 million in non-cash write downs.
Best and worst performers of the day
The best performing sector was Energy adding 1.42 per cent to close at 8,878.
The worst performing sector was Reits, losing 0.68 per cent to close at 1,305 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Santos Limited (ASX:STO), rising 8.28 per cent to close at $3.27. Shares in APN Outdoor Group Limited (ASX:APO) and Carsales.com (ASX:CAR) also closed higher.
The worst performing stock on the S&P/ASX 200 was Myer Holdings Limited (ASX:MYR), dropping 9.82 per cent to close at $0.73 (after it reported its NPAT FY17 will be affected by weak retail conditions and its Deputy CEO to depart). Shares in Fletcher Building Limited (ASX:FBU) closed lower after it announced its expected further losses and its CEO will depart. While Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) also closed lower.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,238 an ounce.
Light crude is 68 cents higher at $US47.27 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 79.30 US cents.