The Australian share market closed at a fresh high of 6,648, not far from the all-time high. The ASX200 made an all time high of 6,828.7 on 1 November 2007.
Today's strength came after most sectors on the ASX rose over 1 per cent or more, with just the Consumer Discretionary space being the odd sector out after, gaining 0.5 per cent, while property/ REITs sector fell slightly.
From the outset, we had positives US leads with Wall Street closing in the back. The Nasdaq and the Dow 30 gained 1.4 per cent and the S&P500 followed (1 per cent up) on hopes US President Donald Trump and his counterpart Xi Jinping, will come to a US-China trade tariff deal at the G-20.
Also overnight, we saw the iron ore price hit a new multi-year high of US$112, while we also saw the crude oil price mustered up also on China-US trade hopes.
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 78 points.1.2 per cent higher to finish at 6,648.
Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 9 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 1 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a lift of 5 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 75 point rise tomorrow morning.
Bluescope Steel (ASX:BSL) has increased its FY2019 underlying EBIT guidance to be about $1.350 billion. That’s a rise of 6 per cent on FY2018. It also expects its 2H FY2019 underlying EBIT will be around $500 million. This compares to prior guidance of around a 10 per cent increase on FY2018. BlueScope also maintained it’s expects to add a further 800,000 to 900,000 tonnes per annum of capacity to its North Star mini-mill in Ohio, US. Meantime, Bluescope Steel (ASX:BSL) extended its $250 million buyback program by an extra $250 million. Shares in Bluescope Steel (ASX:BSL) closed 6.5 per cent higher at $11.73.
Bravura (ASX:BVS) has bumped up its takeover for fellow financial services tech company GBST (ASX:GBT) by 8 per cent to $2.72 per share, valuing its revised offer for GBST at $184.1 million. Its prior offer, 12 April 2019 was for $2.50 per GBST share ($169.8 million).
Xenith IP (ASX:XIP) lodged the scheme booked with ASIC, recommending shareholders vote in favour of IPH’s (ASX:IPH) $190.7 million takeover, which values Xenith shares at $2.15. That’s a 73 premium to Xenith’s closing price on 26 November 2018 ($1.245 per share), the day prior to former transaction announcement with QANTM Intellectual Property Limited (ASX:QIP).
Westpac (ASX:WBC) has hired Guilherme (Guil) Lima as chief executive of its new business division. He is currently HSBC Hong Kong’s group head of wealth management. It comes as big four bank ‘realigned’ its Private Wealth, Platforms and Investments, and Superannuation businesses into a new business division, in March.
Software automation platform, Whispir Limited (ASX:WSP) started trading today. It issued shares at $1.60 and started trading on the ASX at $1.73 and is currently trading at $1.60.
Best and worst performers of the day
The best-performing sector was Energy adding 2.2 per cent, while the worst-performing sector and the only sector closing in the red was REITs, shedding 0.13 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Bluescope Steel (ASX:BSL), rising 6.5 per cent to close at $11.73. Shares in Nanosonics (ASX:NAN) and Cooper Energy (ASX:COE) followed higher.
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS), dropping 8.4 per cent to close at $0.55. Shares in Link Administration Holdnigs (ASX:LNK) and Regis Resources (ASX:RRL) followed lower.
Higher: Japan’s Nikkei has added 1.8 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 2.4 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 1.3 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,345 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 3.8 per cent to US$112.28.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 4.8 per cent.
Light crude is US$2.13 up at US$54.30 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 68.77 US cents.
That’s the Market Wrap. From everyone at FNN have a wonderful evening/weekend.