The S&P/ASX 200 closed 0.2 per cent up - just below 6300 – higher than yesterday's close but lower than the peak at lunchtime. Mayne Pharma (ASX:MYX) shares continue to fall as do HUB24 (ASX:HUB) No news today from these companies. The falls could be from a broker call. Shares in agribusiness Graincorp (ASX:GNC) have taken a dip after Long-Term Asset Partners withdrew a $3.3 billion offer just days before a deadline for a sale of part of Graincorp to another party. The collapse of the deal was announced after market close yesterday. And the Ainsworth Game Technology (ASX:AGI) share price is down after it released a trading update today – more on this later. As for the sectors, Materials were the best performing sector this morning with Industrials coming in last. At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 12 points higher to finish at 6296.
Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 141 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 7 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing afall of 24 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 28 point rise tomorrow.
The RBA Board decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 1.50 per cent. Rates have been left on hold for the 30th time, or for 2.5 years. Inflation remains 1.3%, below the RBA's target range. Growth in international trade has declined and investment intentions have softened in a number of countries. UBS reports the key 'uncertainty' is the impact of home prices on consumption, and 'tension' between GDP and jobs. But bearing in mind this rate decision comes less than two weeks before a federal election.
Meanwhile, the Australian Bureau of Statistics report retail sales rise 0.3% in March, more than the 0.2% consensus expectation. Australia’s trade surplus rises to $4.9 billion in March, stronger than $4.3 billion consensus expectation.
National Veterinary Care (ASX:NVL) has entered into agreements for the acquisition of two veterinary clinics in New Zealand. One of the clinics has settled, a renovated fully equipped facility. This acquisition brings their number of businesses in New Zealand to 36 and total for the group to 98. National Veterinary Care aims to be a leading provider of veterinary services in Australia and New Zealand. Shares in National Veterinary Care (ASX:NVL) are trading 0.3 per cent lower at $2.00.
Amcor (ASX:AMC) and Bemis have announced they expect their merger to be completed over the next few weeks. Last Thursday Bemis shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favour of Amcor's $9 billion buyout. If successful the merger will create one the world's largest consumer packaging firm.
Shares in Ainsworth Game Technology (ASX:AGT) sank in early trade as they flagged lower than expected performance for the second half of the 2019 financial year. The poker machine manufacturer warned that “intense” competition and delays to new product approvals would mean a drop. Profit before Tax, excluding one off items, is now expected to be around $4 million for the six months ended June 30th 2019. At the time of first half results Ainsworth expected second half 2019 profit was to exceed the companies first half result of $8.9 million.
Mineral exploration company, Mont Royal Resources (ASX:MRZ) started trading today, floating with an issue price of $0.20, opening at $0.23 and closed at $0.24.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Materials adding 1.3 per cent while the worst performing sector was Industrials shedding 0.3 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG), rising 6.4 per cent to close at $7.60. Shares in Wisetech Global (ASX:WTC) and Bingo Industries (ASX:BIN) followed higher.
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Graincorp (ASX:GNC), dropping 7 per cent to close at $8.15. Shares in NRW Holdings (ASX:NWH) and Mayne Pharma Group (ASX:MYX) followed lower.
All lower:Japan’s Nikkei has lost 1.7 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.1 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.4 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,283 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 0.2 per cent to US$94.34
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 3.9 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.60 up at US$62.54 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 70.38 US cents