Flat line Tuesday: Aus shares close 0.1% higher

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market danced around the flat line for most of the session today. After recovering from some minor losses at the open, the local bourse tried to take off, but selling in staples and energy put a lid on gains.

Most of the market performed favourably, with a bit of shine coming from materials and utilities. AGL (ASX:AGL) gained over 1.3 per cent while the big miners also recovered from earlier selling with South32 (ASX:S32) and Fortescue (ASX:FMG) gaining over 1.2 per cent, while BHP (ASX:BHP) and Rio (ASX:RIO) saw modest gains.

All the big four banks underperformed today, with ANZ (ASX:ANZ) falling the most and CBA falling the least.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 4 points up, or 0.06 per cent higher to finish at 5,898

The value of trades was $4.3 billion on volume of 661 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) and Westpac Bank (ASX:WBC).

On the futures market the SPI is 4 points up.

Asian markets 

Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.03 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.1 per cent.

Company news 

Artificial intelligence and machine learning company, BrainChip (ASX:BRN) has shipped its first accelerator to a major European car marker for Advanced Driver Assisted and Autonomous Vehicles. It’s the company’s first commercial use of the accelerator, launched on 10 September 2017. Its hardware provides instant ‘one-shot’ learning, detection and tracking of objects and is very low power setting. And that makes it very attractive for car manufactures video requirements and applications. Shares in BrainChip (ASX:BRN) closed 14.71 per cent higher at $0.20.

Telecommunications giant, Vocus Group (ASX:VOC) is proposing to shareholders to divest Vocus New Zealand and Australian data centres. In an announcement to the market the board says it unanimously determined with a ‘heavy heart’ that selling Vocus New Zealand ‘is definitively the right decision for the company’. The sale will bolster its balance sheet, and the state the transaction will be updated in February next year. Shares in Vocus Group (ASX:VOC) closed 3.39 per cent lower at $2.69.

Domain name and hosting company, Dreamscape Networks (ASX:DN8) has inked a deal to buy Sydney based hosting and domain business, Enetica Group for $4.46 million.

Myer Holdings (ASX:MYR) largest shareholder, Premier Investment (ASX:PMV) says it is not intending on taking over the retail giant, while it will also be voting against the appointment of all directors proposed by Myer, including the appointment of new Chairman Gary Hounsell.

And Domino’s Pizza (ASX:DMP) entered into a binding agreement with Bain Capital to purchase all of Bain’s shares in its Japan joint venture for $42 million, less than expected

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was utilities adding 1.00 per cent to close at 8,466.
The worst performing sector was consumer staples, shedding 0.50 per cent to close at 9,686. points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Saracen Mineral Holdings (ASX:SAR), rising 10.04 per cent to close at $1.48. Shares in Japara Healthcare (ASX:JHC) and St Barbara Limited (ASX:SBM) also closed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Asaleo Care Limited (ASX:AHY), dropping 8.52 per cent to close at $1.45. Shares in Vocus Group Limited (ASX:VOC) and Ooh!Media Limited (ASX:OML) also closed lower.

Commodities and the dollar 

Gold is trading at $US1,283 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.02 up at $US51.86 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 78.14 US cents.