The Australian share market started the week in positive territory, clawing back from early losses after most sectors entered positive territory and Utilities continued to shine
Mining stocks entered positive territory after the iron ore price lifted while Financial stocks remained underwater. Also capping gains today, were stocks including Afterpay (ASX:APT) which fell 6.5 per cent (before settlement) as the Labor party allegedly threatened the company with an inquiry. LendLease (ASX:LLC) also copped heavy selling for the second trading session, after being downgraded by Citi on the back of the $350 million after-tax write-down on the back of a further deterioration in engineering projects.
Meanwhile, Elders (ASX:ELD) mustered up 19.7 and Healthscope (ASX:HSO) rose 14 per cent.
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 20 points higher, or 0.3 per cent higher, to finish at 5,941.
Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 81 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 12 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing lift of 54 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 33 point rise tomorrow morning
Most traded stocks
The top three stocks by value were Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO), Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC) and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX:ANZ).
Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) announced board approval for the expansion of its flagship Pilgagoora lithium-tantalum project in the WA Pilbara region. It paves the way for production to grow beyond 800,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of high-quality spodumene concentrate. The news saw its shares close 2.4 per cent higher at $0.85
Healthscope (ASX:HSO) shares rose over 14 per cent to $2.38 after it received a revised $4.5 billion takeover offer from Brookfield. The off-market takeover offer is valued at $2.585 cash per share
Agribusiness, Elders (ASX:ELD) reported a two per cent lift in its revenue for the year ending 30 September 2018 to $1.6 billion, and a 5 per cent lift in EBIT to $74.6 million (compared to the prior corresponding period). It declared a final and interim dividend of 9 cents fully franked per period. Shares in Elders Limited (ASX:ELD) close 19.7 per cent higher.
Woolworths (ASX:WOW) has announced its chief legal officer and company secretary Richard Dammery will step down late January 2019 after helping the group with various petrol transactions, including Woolworths petrol business $1.7 billion sale to EG Group. Citi has marked Woolworths' stock as a buy, as the transaction 'paves the way' for a possible $1.5 billion to $2 billion capital return.
Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) has completed a $2.9 billion off-market buy-back.
Propertylink (ASX:PLG) has entered into a binding implementation agreement with ESR Real Estate Australia to takeover the firm for $723 million, after buying Propertylink shares that it doesn't already own for $1.20 cash per security. That’s a 14.3 per cent premium to PLG’s close price on 20 September 2018.
Best and worst performers of the day
The best performing sector was Utilities adding 2.2 per cent while the worst performing sector was Financials, shedding 0.3 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Elders (ASX:ELD), rising 19.7 per cent to close at $8.87. Shares in Healthscope (ASX:HSO) and Lynas Corporation (ASX:LYC) followed higher.
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Afterpay Touch Group (ASX:APT), dropping 7.3 per cent to close at $12.50. Shares in LendLease Group (ASX:LLC) and Steadfast Group (ASX:SDF) followed lower.
Higher: Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.3 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.7 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,209 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 1.2 per cent to US$77.20 and its futures are pointing to a fall of 0.9 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.48 down at US$60.19 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 72.19 US cents.
Bitcoin has gained 0.1 per cent to US$6,409, Ethereum has lost 0.1 per cent to US$211 and Bitcoin Cash has lost 5.6 per cent to US$517, in the last 24 hours.