Terrific Trading on Thursday: Aus shares close 0.79% higher

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

After three weeks of gains, the Australian share market is back in record territory, closing with a profit of 0.8 per cent. From the get go we flexed our resilient muscle, shaking off those weak Wall Street leads. All sectors were initially higher today, but property entered red territory in afternoon trade after Westfield (ASX:WFD) reported its quarterly results with a 5.5 per cent rise in year-on-year store rent growth.

Miners made the most gains today after commodities prices bounced yesterday on China unexpected rise in manufacturing.

Iron ore price jumped 2.4 per cent to US$66.98 and iron ore future are pointing to a rise of about 0.85 per cent.

The likes of Rio (ASX:RIO) gained over 1 per cent but it was top 300 lithium player Global Geoscience (ASX:GSC) that shone, up about 7 per cent on some stellar results.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 0.79 per cent or 48 points up at 6,098.

Futures

The Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 23 points up.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 29 point up.

The value of trades was $6.4 billion on volume of 877 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were NAB (ASX:NAB), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) and BHP (ASX:BHP).

Local economic news

Australia’s trade surplus hits $1.53 billion in March, a rise from $1.35 billion in February. It also beat expectations the balance of trade for imports and exports would fall to a $65 million surplus. It comes as exports rose 1 per cent with merchanting exports (such as wholesale or retail goods) rising the most, up 14 per cent, with non-monetary gold exports and rural goods following.

And building permits rose more than expected.

Company news 

Tox Tree (ASX:TOX) shareholders have cast their votes, approving the Cleanaway Waste Management (ASX:CWY) from taking over the company. Toxfree will now seek approval from the Federal Court of Australia, at a hearing scheduled on Thursday 10 May at 9.00am Perth time. If approved, TOX shares will be suspended from trading on Friday 11 May at the close of trade and the takeover would be implemented on 25 May 2018. It closed 0.3 per cent lower at $3.43.

NAB (ASX:NAB) reported its net profit fell 5.7 per cent in the March 2018 quarter, compared to September 2017’s quarter, with NPAT hitting $2.58 billion. Compared to the same time last year, NAB’s profit rose 1.5 cent. It flagged selling its advice, platform, superannuation and asset management businesses under MLC. UBS says its results were subdued with revenue continuing to slow and marked NAB as sell.

ANZ (ASX:ANZ) reported on 1 May and its results were generally in line with expectations. WBC (ASX:WBC) is set to report next Monday 7 May, and CBA (ASX:CBA) quarterly update date is not yet determined.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) has confirmed it lost the financial statements of almost 20 million accounts, but insists its customers' account security has not been compromised.

Bapcor (ASX:BAP) reiterated it’s on target for its full year NPAT guidance. And in response to Amazon launching in Australia, the aftermarket car-parts and accessory business says if the tech giant does go into the auto market it will likely be on products that don’t require professional fitment or advice and Bapcor says this may be an opportunity. It also says its poised for growth in supply electronic components and batteries, to the electric car market.

Santos (ASX:STO) has agreed to sell its non-core Asian portfolio to UK-based Ophir Energy for US$221 million.The news of the deal came just as the company released details of its AGM.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was materials adding 1.3 per cent while, the worst performing sector was property/REITs, shedding 0.1 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Seven West Media Limited (ASX:SWM), rising 11.9 per cent to close at $0.66. Shares in Super Retail Group (ASX:SUL) and Mayne Pharma Group Limited (ASX:MYX) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Invocare Limited (ASX:IVC), dropping 4 per cent to close at $11.65 Shares in Healthscope (ASX:HSO) and CSR (ASX:CSR) followed lower.

Asian markets 

Japan’s Nikkei is not trading due to Constitution Day, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is 1.1 per cent lower and Shanghai Composite is 0.5 per cent higher.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,309 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.43 up at $US67.68 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 75.24 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin trades at US$9,190 and Ethereum is at US$713.

Jessica Amir

Finance News Network
Jessica is the head of news and 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.