Making slow recovery: Aus shares close 0.24% higher

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

It has been day of recovery for the Australian share market. We took a dive at the open on the back of weak Wall Street leads and spent the day mustering back up and out red territory.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 0.24 per cent higher or with a gain of 14 points, finishing at 5,891 or in other words, back to where we were late October 2017.

Gains were made in half of the sectors with telcos, financials, staples and property leading the rise. Gains were also seen in health companies and with other companies like Harvey World Travel (ASX:HVN) and Domino’s Pizza (ASX:DMP) which both gained over 3.8 per cent. Financial giant, AMP (ASX:AMP) was also not that far behind. 

If we look overseas to Wall Street, the Dow futures are pointing to a rise and that helped the ASX200 lift in afternoon trade. But it will be interesting to see what happens overnight on Wall Street, as on Wednesday, Wall Street had another ride, with the S&P 500 seeing its biggest reversal since February 2016.

The ASX futures are pointing to a gain of 38 points up.

The value of trades was $5.8 billion on volume of 711 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP), and National Australia Bank (ASX:NAB).

Company news now

Tabcorp (ASX:TAH) reported its net profit after tax slumped 58 per cent to $24.6 million for the first half of this financial year. Meantime its revenues rose about 19 per cent to $1.4 billion. As for its earnings (EBITDA) it fell in the first half by 0.3 per cent to about $270 million and for some brokers this was a miss due to lower than expected wagering revenue. As a result Tabcorp shares closed 6.9 per cent lower at $4.76.

Mining giant Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) reported a 90 per cent surge in its full year profits to US$8.8 billion in 2017 and today announced it will start a US$1 billion share buyback program. As for its results, it broadly missed some analyst’s expectations which is why its stock traded lower.

AMP Limited (ASX:AMP) reported a massive swing to a $848 million net profit for the year ending 31 December 2017. That’s a rise of almost 350 per cent from its loss of $344 million for 2016. It comes as the financial giant’s revenue rose 24 per cent over the 12 months to $18.4 billion. It also declared a final dividend of 14.50 cents per share, 90 per cent franked, payable on 28 March 2018. In the full 2017 year it also paid an interim dividend of the same amount.

And energy company AGL (ASX:AGL) reported its underlying profit after tax rose 27 per cent to $493 million in six months to the end of December 2017.

IPOs

Duxton Broadacre Farms (ASX:DBF) started trading today. The grain provider floated with an issue price of $1.50, opened at $1.58 and it closed at $1.58.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was telcos adding 1.5 per cent to close at 1,283.
The worst performing sector was energy, shedding 1.8 per cent to close at 10,465 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Seven West Media Limited (ASX:SWM), rising 7 per cent to close at $0.54. Shares in Blackmores Limited (ASX:BKL) and Mineral Resources Limited (ASX:MIN) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Tabcorp Holdings Limited (ASX:TAH), dropping 6.9 per cent to close at $4.76. Shares in Western Areas Limited (ASX:WSA) and Pilbara Minerals Limited (ASX:PLS) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.9 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.1 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 1.6 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,312 an ounce.
Light crude is $1.66 lower at $US61.73 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 78.22 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading higher

Bitcoin has gained 10 per cent to US$8,156
Ethereum gained about 10 per cent to US$818
And Tether has added about 2 per cent to US$1.02.