Bull action returns: Aus shares close 0.6% higher

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share had good day of trading rising 0.6 per cent, taking this week’s gains to about 1.6 per cent. Industrials saw the most green tracks after Qantas (ASX:QAN) shares soared on a revenue rise. Discretionaries also boded well with Myer (ASX:MYR) up over 11 per cent and while Nine (ASX:NEC) jumped 6 per cent.

Telcos were the only sector that saw red today after Telstra (ASX:TLS) slipped marginally after presenting at Macquarie Australia’s conference. But we will talk about the latest company news in just a second.

In economic news, China’s manufacturing index rose more than expected and all commodities bounced with copper jumping 1.3 per cent.

Iron ore price remained steady overnight at US$65.43 and futures are pointing to a rise of 2.4 per cent

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 35 points or 0.6 per higher at 6,050

Futures

The Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 21 points
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 43 point up.

Value of trades

$6.5 billion on volume of 900 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), BHP (ASX:BHP), ANZ (ASX:ANZ).

Company news 

Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) was one the star performers today as it presented at Macquarie Australia’s conference. It expects mining to increase by 30 mega tonnes per annum, and have 5 ‘NextGen’ plants installed. The mining company noted it’s in the midst of selling down 49 per cent of its hard rock lithium deposit, which is claims is the world’s largest. And it’s in Port Hedland in WA. It gained 7.4 per cent today to $19.80.

Qantas (ASX:QAN) shares soaring on a cloud up 8.1 per cent after it reported its revenue lifted 7.5 per cent to $4.25 billion in the third quarter of FY18. It announced its profit after tax will be between $1.55 billion and $1.6 billion.

Fairfax (ASX:FXJ) announced its group revenue has fallen slightly, by 1 per cent from 25 December 2017 to 22 April 2018, when compared to the same time last year. Across its segments revenue had grown in the Domain’s digital segment the most, up 21 per cent and accounted for 13 per cent of total revenue growth. The group’s digital and non-print revenue has grown as a percentage from 23 to 39 per cent over the last four years.

Four by four outback accessory company, ARB (ASX:ARB) is another one of today’s star performers after it revealed it has established a new free-trade zoned global warehouse in Thailand and will substantially lift its warehousing and production capacity. At the same time it sales rose in all parts of the business, taking total sales up 12.4 per cent to over $208 million. It declared an 9.4 per cent higher interim dividend as well.

Woolworths (ASX:WOW) shares saw a bit of action today hitting $28.16 then finishing at $27.99 after its third quarter sales for 2018 exceeded market and UBS forecast. Its Australian food sales have grown by 4.7 per cent compared to the same period last year. UBS has Woolies as a buy.

Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) Chairman Simon Thompson addressed allegations of accounting fraud and bribery on former assets in Mozambique and Guinea. The Chair told shareholders at the AGM the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) found no evidence of failure or fraud and that Rio should have impaired the assets six months earlier than it did. Rio denies wrongdoing and will now have to vigorously defend itself in court as he United States Securities and Exchange Commission and ASIC are alleging a former CEO and CFO deliberately withheld information about the Mozambique coal project from the board and auditors.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was industrials adding 1.5 per cent while, the worst performing sector was telcos, shedding 0.1 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN), rising 8.1 per cent to close at $6.27. Shares in Mineral Resources Limited (ASX: MIN) and Arb Corporation. (ASX: ARB) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Gateway Lifestyle Group (ASX: GTY), dropping 9.4 per cent to close at $1.79 Shares in Jb Hi-Fi Limited (ASX: JBH) and Invocare (ASX: IVC) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.5 per cent and Shanghai Composite lost 0.3 per cnet.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,308 an ounce.
Light crude is $1.07 lower at $US67.50 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 75.03 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin trades at US$9,103 and EOS is 9 per cent higher at US$18.49