Domino’s and Priceline owner gain: Aus shares 0.23 per cent up at noon

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market has seen a resilient rise today, shaking off weakness in base metal commodity prices, and a mixed bag of company announcements, with most of our market performing favourably. 

Domino’s Pizza Enterprises (ASX:DMP) is one of the best performers today, rising about 3.4 per cent after its JV snapped up a German Pizza chain. Meanwhile, Priceline Pharmacy owner, Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (ASX:API) is taking the cake this session rising about 5.4 per cent.

Putting a lid on gains though is the Materials space, after the iron ore price fell over 3 per cent overnight, which is causing the big miners to see red.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 13 points up or 0.23 per cent higher at 5,903.

On the futures market the SPI is 17 points higher.

Local economic news

The trend unemployment rate dropped to a four-year low of 5.5 per cent, as widely expected. For almost two years, it was hovering in the range of 5.6 to 5.8 per cent.

The ABS says it’s the lowest rate seen since March 2013 and reflects the strength in employment growth over the past 12 months, with monthly trend full-time employment increasing for the 12th straight month to September 2017.

The total number of employed persons rose by 24,000, more than expected.

Company news

BHP (ASX:BHP) has announced its Chairman of the Sustainability Committee, Malcolm Brinded will be standing down from his role and as a Non-Executive Director. Malcolm Broomhead has been appointed as his Chair replacement, he has already been a Non-Executive Director since March 2010. BHP (ASX:BHP) are trading 2.3 per cent lower to $26.55.

Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (ASX:API) has seen a 5.4 per cent rise in its NPAT to $54.2 million compared to the prior corresponding period. The company which owns Priceline Pharmacies and Soul Pattinson Chemist, also saw its revenue rise about 6 per cent to almost $4.1 billion, while its EBIT almost rose the same amount, to $91.9 million. It comes as its beauty categories grew, recovering from a slowdown in prior years. Shares in Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (ASX:API) are trading 5.38 per cent higher at $1.67.

And civil construction and mining services company, NRW Holdings (ASX:NWH) has won a preferred mining contract that will see it generate about $300 million in revenue over six years. The contract is for Gascoyne Resources’ (ASX:GCY) Dalgaranga Gold Project in Western Australia and providing the company with drill and blast operations.

The best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Financials, gaining 0.68 per cent to 6,678. Shares in QBE Insurance Group (ASX:QBE) have risen 2.45 per cent and trading at $10.87. Shares in Credit Corp Group (ASX:CCP) and Bank Of Queensland (ASX:BOQ) are also stronger.

The worst performing sector is Materials, falling 0.85 per cent to 10,684. Shares in Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) have fallen 2.41 per cent, trading at $69.21. Shares in Saracen Mineral Holdings (ASX:SAR) and BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) are also lower.

Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,281 an ounce and one Australian dollar is buying 78.65 US cents.