Back on track: Aus shares close 0.15% higher

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The ASX is back on track after adding 0.15 per cent today. We defied weak leads from Wall Street and closed near the ASX200’s one month and 10 year highs.

As for the sectors, half made green tracks, energy continued to lead through the day as the US crude price is trading above US$71 which saw Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) jump 6.8 per cent.

The discretionary sector also boded well, so too did the miners. While the iron ore futures are pointing to a 1 per cent dip.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 9 points or 0.15 per cent higher to finish at 6,107.

Futures market

The Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 9 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 16 point gain.

Value of trades

$6.6 billion on volume of 834 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Westpac (ASX:WBC), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) and NAB (ASX:NAB).

Local economic news

Australian workers have seen little change in their pay packets. The wage price index rose half a per cent in the March quarter, slightly below expectations. Annual wage growth was steady at 2.1 per cent as expected.

Company news now

BHP (ASX:BHP) announced it has the potential to add a further 40 per cent to the company, subject to its capital allocation process. It comes as it presented to one of the largest institutional banks in the US today, announcing that it’s reduced net debt by over US$10 billion, returned US$8 billion to shareholders and found new ways to increase value and returns for shareholders. The mining heavy weight presented at The Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2018 global metals and steel conference in Florida. Shares in BHP (ASX:BHP) closed 1.4 per cent higher at $34.01.

a2 Milk (ASX:A2M) has announced it expects full year revenues to be between NZ$900 million to NZ$920 million. It comes after group revenue jumped 70 per cent in the nine months through to 31 March 2018 to NZ$660 million.

Fletcher Building (ASX:FBU) raised NZ$750 million through its retail capital raising. 

Department store, Myer (ASX:MYR) has announced a 3.1 per cent drop in third quarter sales. The company says the drop was due to unseasonably warm weather, which affected sales of winter apparel, shoes and accessories. Weather conditions may also impact fourth quarter sales.

And Noni B (ASX:NBL) has raised $37.8 million via an institutional placement. The retail company says it received overwhelming support from institutional investors with a 100 per cent take up. Money raised will fund the company’s purchase of Specialty Fashion Group announced earlier this week

IPOs

Star Combo Pharma (ASX:S66) started trading today with the vitamin, supplement and beauty product company issuing shares at 50 cents, opening at 59 cents and closing at 79 cents, to investors delight.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was energy adding 1.3 per cent while the worst performing sector was utilities, shedding 1.7 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC), rising 6.8 per cent to close at $5.33. Shares in Invocare (ASX:IVC) and Domino's Pizza Enterprises (ASX:DMP) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was The A2 Milk Company (ASX:A2M), dropping 13.1 per cent to close at $10.54. Shares in Bellamy's Australia (ASX:BAL) and Sigma Healthcare (ASX:SIG) followed lower.

Asian markets 

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.4 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.1 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.1 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,295 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.06 up at $US71.05 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 74.82 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin is at US$8,252 per cent Ethereum at US$689 and EOS has dropped 13 per cent to US$12.41.

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.