Healthcare injects life after Cochlear hits 3.5 wk high: Aus shares close 0.4% higher

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market inked its third day of straight gains today, despite Wall Street closing in the red overnight on disappointing Citgroup and Goldman Sachs earnings reports. Most of the local sectors rose today with Healthcare up over 1 per cent, followed by Staples, which rose 1 per cent.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 0.4 per cent or 26 points higher to finish at 6,277.

According to FactSet, 85 per cent of the companies that have reported earnings results have topped analysts’ earnings expectations.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 62 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 5 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a lift of 20 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 25 point rise.

Company news

Sales financing company, Eclipx Group (ASX:ECX) shares bounced to an almost 4 week high after Credit Suisse increased its holding in the company from 5.1 per cent to 6.12 per cent. Shares in Eclipx Group (ASX:ECX) are 74 per cent lower year-on-year and today it closed 9 per cent higher at $0.91.

Cochlear (ASX:COH) shares popped to a 3.5 week high after launching its Nucleus Profile Plus Series implant, which allows patients to have routine 1.5 and 3 Tesla MRI scans without removing the internal magnet. The device will be commercially available in Germany, with other European countries to follow over the coming months.

Health supplement company Blackmores (ASX:BKL) saw a 43 per cent fall in its third-quarter profit (to 31 March 2019) to $10 million, (when compared to the same time last year) on the back of a new China E-commerce Law which dampened its Chinese sales. And as previously announced it’s expecting modest full-year revenue growth, while it doesn't expect the second half profit, will be ahead of the first half result.

Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) has announced a drop in first quarter 2019 Pilbara iron ore shipments and production when compared to the first quarter of 2018. Production was hampered by the weather disruptions in March and a fire at Cape Lambert A in January. Meantime, aluminium production was in line with the first quarter of 2018.

Hillgrove (ASX:HGO) has inked a binding agreement to sell the rights to develop, own and operate a pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) project to AGL (ASX:AGL) for $31 million. The project in Kanmantoo, South Australia, in the south-east of Adelaide will transform the former mining site into one of the lowest cost electricity storage projects in Australia. Hillgrove shares are up 17 per cent year-on-year, while AGL shares are up 5 per cent.

Santos (ASX:STO) has discovered a significant gas resource, in the Carnarvon Basin, offshore Western Australia. The site is on its 100 per cent owned petroleum permit, with the company saying it has ‘one of the largest columns ever discovered across the North West Shelf’. Santos shares are 19 per cent higher year-on-year.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was S&P/ASX 200 Health Care adding 1.3per cent, followed by S&P/ASX 200 Consumer Staples, S&P/ASX 200 Consumer Discretionary, S&P/ASX 200 Financials, S&P/ASX 200 Utilities, S&P/ASX 200 Info Tech, S&P/ASX 200 Materials and S&P/ASX 200 Industrials. While the worst performing sector was S&P/ASX 200 Energy, shedding 0.8 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Eclipx Group (ASX:ECX), rising 9 per cent to close at $0.91. Shares in Cochlear Limited (ASX:COH) and NEXTDC (ASX:NXT) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Charter Hall Group Limited (ASX:CHC), dropping 2.6 per cent to close at $9.87. Shares in Caltex Australia Limited (ASX:CTX) and Bravura Solutions (ASX:BVS) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.6 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 1.5 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,285 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 1.1 per cent to US$95.42
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 2 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.31 up at US$63.71 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.50 US cents.


Jessica Amir

Finance News Network
Jessica joined FNN in January 2017 after having worked in financial advising for seven years and in TV journalism for seven years, specialising in finance, equities and analysis. She has interviewed former Prime Ministers of Australia, Tony Abbott, Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd and ex Treasurer Jo Hockey. Jessica has worked as a journalist with Sky News Business, ABC 1, ABC's The Business, ABC24 and has also been a regional Channel 7 and 9 TV reporter with Prime7 and Win News.