The Australian stock market shot up at the open, losing momentum as selling started to mount the smaller Tech sector, which lost over 1 per cent, with Xero (ASX:XRO) shares losing over 4 per cent.
Overnight, US investors were sitting on the fence awaiting Apple’s earnings results. However, in after-hours trade Apple shares rose after the tech major announced its results, barely meeting expectations, with overall iPhone sales falling 15 per cent, while it clocked $13 billion in revenue from China, that’s 27 per cent less than last year.
Staying in the tech sector, Yesterday’s ASX IPO, Splitit Payments (ASX:SPT) saw its shares gain 70 per cent today,
However, miners shone the most today in terms of value, with the iron ore price rallying above US$78, which helped Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) shares to gain about 8 per cent, Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) gained 5 per cent and BHP (ASX:BHP) gained 3 per cent.
The ASX 200 closed 0.2 per cent/ 13 points higher at 5,887.
Dow futures are suggesting a gain of 48 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 2 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a gain of 41 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 11 point rise tomorrow morning
Loca economic news
The consumer price index (CPI), Australia’s main inflationary measure, rose more than expected in the December quarter, rising 0.5 per cent, according to the ABS, more than the rise of 0.4 per cent expected, and recorded in the September quarter. The most significant rises in the December quarter came from a rise in the price of tobacco followed by local holiday travel and hotels and fruit.
Over the year, CPI gained 1.8 per cent, slightly less than the prior reading of 1.9 per cent
Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR) shares fell sharply today wiping out most of this year’s gains after it announced production was impacted by fire damage at its Balama project. Nevertheless, in terms of graphite sold and shipped that rose in the fourth quarter of 2018. Its shares lost 13.4 per cent, closing at $1.74.
Sandfire Resources (ASX:SFR) shares gained 3.3 per cent, after it announced a strong December quarter and says its eyeing results at the upper end of its FY2019 copper and gold guidance levels. It also announced it lowered its costs in the quarter. Welcome news for shareholders.
CIMIC’s (ASX:CIM) company UGL, as part of a joint venture, gained an extension on a Sydney Trains contract for maintenance and logistics services, which will generate revenue of about $277 million to UGL. The two-year extension, effective from July 2019, involves providing heavy maintenance and supply chain services to more than 1,000 Sydney passenger rail trains. Its shared 0.4 per cent.
Newcrest Mining's (ASX:NCM) gold production rose 7 per cent in the December quarter compared to the same time last year, with improved production at all operations, while copper production rose 8 per cent on the prior quarter. Its shares gained 4 per cent.
Best and worst performers of the day
The best performing sector was S&P/ASX Materials adding 2.1 per cent while the worst performing sector was S&P/ASX Consumer Discretionary, shedding 0.6 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Bellamy's Australia Limited (ASX:BAL), rising 9.7 per cent to close at $8.39. Shares in Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (ASX:FMG) and Pilbara Minerals Limited (ASX:PLS) followed higher.
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Syrah Resources Limited (ASX:SYR), dropping 13.4 per cent to close at $1.74. Shares in G.U.D. HOLDINGS LIMITED (ASX:GUD) and Credit Corp Group Limited (ASX:CCP) followed lower.
Mixed:Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.3 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.1 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,314 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 0.7 per cent to US$78.69
Iron ore futures are eyeing a rise of 5.9 per cent.
Light crude is $1.25 higher at $US53.24 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.95 US cents.