Back in the 6k club: Aus shares close 0.8% higher on Friday, 1.6% on week

Market Reports

by Clive Tompkins

It has been a good day of trade for the ASX, which has bounded back towards its one-year highs. The local bourse rose at the open as expected after the Dow and the S&P 500 closed higher. We picked up momentum through the session, with mining stocks rising the most as the iron ore price and futures lifted.

The likes of Sandfire Resources (ASX:SFR) and South32 (ASX:S32) were up over 6 per cent while Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) rose over 2 per cent after reporting a rise in income. Heavyweights like BHP (ASX:BHP), Rio (ASX:RIO) and Fortescue (ASX:FMG) followed. All sectors gained today, except Staples.

At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 94 points up, or 0.79 per cent higher, to finish at 6000 points. On the futures market, the SPI is 52 points up.

The value of trades was $7.6 billion on volume of 932 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) and CSL (ASX:CSL).

Company news

McGrath (ASX:MEA) has appointed a new CEO, Geoff Lucas, welcoming him back to the company. Geoff Lucas was Chief Operator Officer of McGrath for eight years from 2008 to 2016. Shares in McGrath (ASX:MEA) closed 8.33 per cent higher at $0.46.

Salmon farming company Tassal Group (ASX:TGR) reported its net profit after tax rose 27 per cent in the first half of this finanical year to $26 million, while its revenue also rose, up 24 per cent, to $271 million. This comes on the back of better than expected demand and returns for its salmon.

Pharmaceutical company Mayne Pharma (ASX:MYX) reported worsened results over the half year ending December 2017,  with its profit falling to a loss of $174 million. At the same time, the company is seeing improved trading conditions , and is positioned for a stronger second half with a stabilised genetic market, new products and an expanded sales team.

Platinum Asset Management (ASX:PTM) announced CEO Kerr Nelson will hand over the reins to Andrew Clifford from 1 July 2018. It also reported its net profit rose 7 per cent in the first six months of this finanical year and its revenue rose 15 per cent.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Materials, adding 1.51 per cent to close at 11,712 points.

The worst performing sector was Consumer Staples, shedding 0.4 per cent to close at 10,364 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Mayne Pharma Group (ASX:MYX), rising 10.71 per cent to close at $0.78. Shares in Nextdc (ASX:NXT) and Tassal Group (ASX:TGR) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Nanosonics (ASX:NAN), dropping 12.08 per cent to close at $2.62. Shares in Platinum Asset Management (ASX:PTM) and Southern Cross Media (ASX:SXL) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.53 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has gained 0.7 per cent and the Shanghai Composite dropped 0.2 per cent.

Wall street

Wall Street wrapped up the four trading days this week lower.

The Dow Jones lost 0.95 per cent, the S&P 500 lost 1.0 per cent and the Nasdaq lost 0.6 per cent, while the 100 index lost 0.5 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,327 an ounce.

Light crude is $0.97 up at US$62.65 barrel.

One Australian dollar is buying 78.21 US cents.


Bitcoin has fallen 8.60 per cent to US$9,980, Tether gained 0.22 per cent to US$1, Ethereum dropped 2.75 per cent to US$843.