Puffing along on mining steam: Aus shares close 0.3% higher

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market kicked off the week higher, showing its resilience to US stocks, which closed lower on Friday.

Last week we added 80 points or 1.4 per cent. Miners led half of the sectors higher today after iron ore price traded over US$67, with the iron ore futures pointing to a rise of over 1.9 per cent.

However gold miner, Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) shone brightly, up 2.8 per cent after full production looks set to resume after its Cadia Hill open pit was approved for tailings disposal.

Iron ore heavy weights, like Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) added 1.4 per cent, BHP (ASX:BHP) followed while with Fortesuce Metals (ASX:FMG) rose over 1 per cent. Outside of the miners, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank (ASX:BEN) and Bega Cheese (ASX:BGA) also shone.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 17 points higher, or 0.3 per cent higher to finish at 5,886.

Futures

The Dow futures are suggesting a gain of 70 points. 
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 20 point gain.

Value of trades 

$4.1 billion on volume of 554 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 NAB (ASX:NAB).

Company news 

Myer (ASX:MYR) has announced John King as its new CEO and managing director. In his 30 years of retail he helped with the transformation of UK department store, House of Fraser. Over the last three-years John has been consulting to a number of US-based retailers and actively involved in start-ups. He wasn’t employed with an end term, while he was given a fixed salary of $1.2 million including super, reviewed annually. He will be based in Melbourne. Its shares closed 8.45 per cent higher at $0.39.

ANZ (ASX:ANZ) is expecting $50 million in legal and other costs relating to the Royal Commission, for the year ending 30 September 2018. Costs have already totalled $16 million In the first half of 2018 for the Royal Commission. For continuing operations, it’s expecting a total net gain of $138 million from the sale of divestments in the 1H18. While it’s expecting a loss of $632 million from its discontinued operations from the sale of OnePath in October, and the sale of its life insurance business to Zurich in December.

Asaleo Care (ASX:AHY) advised its full year EBITDA guidance should sit in the range of $113 million to $119 million. It’s also expecting to retain its current dividend of 10 cents per share in 2018.

Fund manager, Blue Sky Alternative Investments (ASX:BLA) announced the resignation of Robert Shand as managing director.

Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) has received approval to use the first 200 metres of the old Cadia Hill open pit as a tailings storage facility. It comes as a partial dam collapse halted operations at the NSW mine last month.

Macquarie Atlas Roads (ASX:MQA) has announced the appointment of Graeme Bevans as CEO, a respected global infrastructure executive. He’ll take over the role on the 1 May from James Hooke.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was materials adding 0.8 per cent to close at 11,968.
The worst performing sector was utilities, shedding 0.6 per cent to close at 7,295. points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited (ASX: BEN), rising 4.9 per cent to close at $10.40 Shares in Bega Cheese (ASX: BGA) and Newcrest Mining (ASX: NCM) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (ASX:API), dropping 6.3 per cent to close at $1.33. Shares in Nanosonics (ASX:NAN) and G8 Education (ASX:GEM) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.5 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.7 per cent.

To commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,334 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.07 up at $US68.40 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 76.74 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin trades at US$8,856 Ethereum trades at US$633 and Bitcoin Cash has gained about 15 per cent to US$1,321..