Solid start: Aus shares close 0.6% higher

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The ASX had a good start to the trading week, jumping over the 6,000 point hurdle, however we lost some momentum in afternoon trade on the back of scattered selling with the likes of Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) shares falling, after a dam wall was breached. Also trading below the line today, property stocks like Westfield (ASX:WFD), as well as stocks like IMF Bentham (ASX:IMF) and Nanosonics (ASX:NAN).

However, most of the sectors saw gains today with energy and mining stocks leading the charge. The only sectors that saw minor losses today, consumer discretionary and staples.

Energy stocks soared on the back of the oil price lifting to a two-day high with Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) gaining over 6 per cent.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 33 points up, or 0.06 per cent higher to finish at 5,996. On the futures market the SPI is 43 points up.

The value of trades was $4.9 billion on volume of 618 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) Westpac bank WBC and BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP).

Company news 

Renewable energy company, New Energy Solar (ASX:NEW) has been inducted into the All Ords, rubbing shoulders with 500 of the largest ASX listed companies. Their recent IPO saw the company raise over $200 million in additional equity, bringing its total capital raised to over $500 million. Last year New Energy Solar generated underlying earnings or $US21.7 million with EBITDA of $US17.3 million. CEO John Martin says it is an important milestone for the company and also purchased shares in the company. New energy solar shares closed 0.7 per cent higher at $1.44

Shares in gold producer Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) took a hit after it had a breakthrough of its tailings at its Cadia mine. No one was injured, and the company says there is no threat to personal safety. The miner says the breakthrough is contained and it’s monitoring potential environmental damage. It comes just days after two earthquakes hit the area near Orange in New South Wales.

Westfield (ASX:WFD) advised it will hold its AGM on the same day shareholders vote to combine Westfield with Europe’s Unibail-Rodamco, all on the 24 May 2018. However, Westfield says the meeting date and the AGM may be held later though, depending on the regulatory approval by European and Australian authorities.

And Spark NZ (ASX:SKI) will move away from a hierarchical organisation structure, with teams self-managing. A few positions have been reshuffled as well, with the CEO of Spark Ventures to leave the business by the end of June. The business leadership changes will come into play on 1 July 2018, aimed at strengthening its FY19 finances.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was energy adding 1.6 per cent to close at 10 thousand and 95. The worst performing sector was taples, shedding 0.3 per cent to close at 10235 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Beach Energy (ASX:BBT), rising 6.5 per cent to close at $1.32. Shares in Sigma Healthcare (ASX:SIG) and Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM), dropping 4.6 per cent to close at $20.60. Shares in APN Outdoor Group (ASX:APN) and Super Retail Group (ASX:SUL) followed lower.

Asian markets 

Japan’s Nikkei has added 1.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 1.5 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.5 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,323 an ounce.
Light crude is $1.86 up at $US61.92 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 78.69 US cents.


The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading mostly higher

Bitcoin has gained 9 per cent to US$9591 and Tether is trading at US$1 Ethereum has gained about 6 per cent to US$726


Jessica Amir

Finance News Network
Jessica is a senior finance journalist and presents bulletins including the Market Outlook, Market at Midday and Market Wrap. She also interviews ASX CEOs and leading fund managers. She joined FNN in January 2017 with over six years of broadcast journalism experience including with Sky News Business, ABC 1, ABC's The Business and ABC24. She’s also worked as a TV reporter for Prime 7 and WIN News. Jessica has worked in financial planning for over six years with leading wealth managers and in real estate.