Positive start to the week: Aus shares close 0.31% higher

Market Reports

by Michael Luu

The Australian share market started the trading week in positive territory, setting a 10-year high closing adding 0.31 per cent on Monday.

The energy sector was the frontrunner today, followed closely by healthcare and mining. Telstra (ASX:TLS) announced lower earnings expectations, dragging down the telco sector and capping gains.

In the financials space, ANZ (ASX:ANZ) and Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG) closed lower after both companies went ex-dividend this morning.

As for the heavyweight miners, BHP (ASX:BHP) and Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) rose over 1 per cent after the iron ore price rose 0.9 per cent. Its futures are eyeing a gain of 1.88 per cent.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 19 points higher, or 0.31 per cent higher, to finish at 6,135 points.

On the futures market, the Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 110 points, and the ASX200 futures are eyeing a gain of 27 points.

The value of trades was $5.9 billion on volume of 717 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG), ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ) and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA).

Company news

Australian supplier of building fixtures and fittings GWA Group (ASX:GWA) announced the sale of its door and access systems business to Allegion for $107 million. The sale is expected to be completed shortly after GWA’s FY18 year-end, subject to normal conditions. GWA (ASX:GWA) was one of the best performers today and its shares closed 5.65 per cent higher at $3.93

Telstra (ASX:TLS) has warned it expects financial year earnings (EBITDA) to be at the bottom end of its guidance of $10.1 billion to $10.6 billion, as the industry is facing competitive dynamics that have put pressure on both fixed and mobile margins.

Private healthcare provider Healthscope (ASX:HSO) has received a takeover offer from private equity firm Brookfield, who is offering to buy all the shares in the company for $2.50 per share, which is a premium of 23 per cent to the company’s closing price on the 24 April 2018.

Commonwealth Bank (ASX:CBA) CFO Rob Jesudason has resigned with immediate effect after less than a year, after he took the role on 1 July 2017. The bank has appointed Allan Docherty as acting CFO, who will take up the job today.

Financial services firm Evans Dixon (ASX:ED1) started trading today, floating with an issue price of $2.50, opening at $2.80 and closing at $2.71.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Energy, adding 0.9 per cent, while the worst performing sector was Telcos, shedding 4.4 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was GWA Group (ASX:GWA), rising 5.65 per cent to close at $3.93. Shares in Healthscope (ASX:HSO) and Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Lynas Coporation (ASX:LYC), dropping nearly 10 per cent to close at $2.46. Shares in News Corporation (ASX:NWS) and Telstra Corporation (ASX:TLS) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.6 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 1.1 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.2 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,321 an ounce.

Light crude is $0.63 up at $US70.68 barrel.

One Australian dollar is buying 75.49 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Some of the most traded cryptocurrencies today include Bitcoin, Ethereum and EOS, with Bitcoin trading around US$8,393.