The Aussie share market finished stronger for its second straight day and higher for the week, it comes as Donald Trump signalled this morning that Australia may have some clemency with the looming tariffs on steel and aluminium.
The ASX rose at open, picking up momentum before losing some steam in afternoon trade. Also holding back afternoon gains was Wall Street futures, which were flat. So we had no leads to follow. Most of ours sectors made gains with telcos, industrials and discretionary stocks shining with Kogan (ASX:KGN) jumping over 6 per cent and Webjet (ASX:WEB) rising over 4 per cent.
Just mining and energy stocks fell behind today, after heavy weights, like Rio (ASX:RIO) lost about over 2 per cent, with BHP (ASX:BHP) following, along with South32 (ASX:S32) and Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) after the iron ore futures fell over 4.7 per cent.
The ASX200 inducted the Australian Agricultural Company (ASX:AAC) into its hall of fame along with Ausdrill (ASX:ASL) and Bellamy’s Australia (ASX:BAL), while Myer (ASX:MYR) and HT&E (ASX:HT1) lost their place. As for the ASX top 20, South32 (ASX:S32) made its way onto the list, pushing out QBE (ASX:QBE). While on the top 100 index, we saw Cleanaway Waste Management (ASX:CWY) and Xero (ASX:XRO) score a spot, pushing out Fairfax Media (ASX:FXJ) and Vocus Group (ASX:VOC).
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 20 points up or 0.34 per cent higher at 5,963. Over the week we gained 34 points or 0.6 per cent. On the futures market the SPI is 24 points up.
The value of trades was $5.6 billion on volume of 695 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 (ASX:WBC).
Company news now
Technology provider, Data#3 (ASX:DTL) has been selected by the Commonwealth of Australia, as the sole provider of Microsoft licencing for the Australian Government. It comes as the company won the tender process, extending its long serving relationship with the Australian Government. Shares in Data#3 (ASX:DTL) closed 7.1 per cent higher at $1.81.
Dairy exporter Fonterra (ASX:FSF) was removed from the All Ordinaries or Australia’s largest companies according S&P. Meantime, it also announced its imports from Latin America and Asia increased in the 12 months to October, with China increasing the most, 13 per cent. While demand from the Middle East fell slightly.
New Zealand’s Trade Me (ASX:TME) annouced its acquisition of Christchurch software firm Motorcentral has been blocked by the competition watchdog.
And Oil and gas company, AWE (ASX:AWE) announced that Japanese company, Mitsui, which is planning to take it over, has increased its major holding in the firm today. Mitsui's takeover offer for $0.95 per share closes on 23 March 2018 with AWE's independent experts saying their offer is ‘fair and reasonable’.
Saturn Metals Limited (ASX:STN) started trading today. It floated with an issue price of 20 cents, opened at 23 cents and it closed at 21.5 cents.
Best and worst performers of the day
The best performing sector was telcos adding 1.6 per cent to close at 1,246. The worst performing sector was materials shedding 1.3 per cent to close at 11,224. points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Genworth Mortgage Insurance Australia Limited (ASX:GMA), rising 7.7 per cent to close at $2.53. Shares in Vocus Group Limited (ASX:VOC) and Webjet (ASX:WEB) followed higher.
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Iluka Resources Limited (ASX:ILU), dropping 6.4 per cent to close at $10.63 Shares in Resolute Mining Limited (ASX:RSG) and Western Areas Limited (ASX:WSA) followed lower.
Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.4 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.9 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.1 per cent.
The Dow Jones added 1.4 per cent, The S&P 500 added 1.7 per cent and the tech heavy Nasdaq gained 2.3 per cent, while the 100 index added 2.2.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,318 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.97 lower at $US60.33 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 77.93 US cents.
The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading mixed: Bitcoin has fallen 10 per cent to US$8,802, Tether is trading at US$1.01 and Ethereum trades 11 per cent lower to US$666.