Unemployment rate steady at 5.2%: ASX closed 0.3% higher

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market rose at the open, held momentum closing 0.3 per cent higher. Shares in Wisetech Global (ASX:WTC) continue to fall after yesterday’s downgrade regarding the coronavirus. SmartGroup (ASX:SIQ) shares are on the rise after they reported NPATA of $81 million, which was a 4 per cent increase on FY 2018’s profit. As for the sectors today Consumer Staples led the day and Infotech fell lower.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 18 points higher to finish at 7,163.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 45 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 5 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a fall of 23 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 19 point rise tomorrow morning.

Economic News

Australia's trend unemployment rate remained steady at 5.2 per cent in January 2020, it has stayed at this rate since September 2019, according to the latest information released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

Company news

iSignthis (ASX:ISX) has taken a 12.96 per cent interest in NSX via a $4.2 million private placement obtaining stock at 14.5 cents a share. The move is to form a joint venture vehicle, ClearPay to develop a multicurrency, realtime, same day Delivery versus payment platform to be integrated with ISX’s ISXPay® and Paydentity. NSX will seek shareholder approval to raise an additional $3.8-$5.8 million of which ISX has the option to subscribe for an additional allocation, for up to a 19.9% final stake in NSX. Shares in iSignthis (ASX:ISX) last traded at a $1.07.

EBOS (ASX:EBO) today announced strong growth in revenue and earnings for the first half of FY 2020 showing statutory NPAT at $81.7 million up 21.8 per cent on the prior corresponding period. These results are reflective of the start of the Chemist Warehouse Group (CWG) pharmaceutical wholesale contract, and Institutional Healthcare, Contract Logistics and TerryWhite Chemmart (TWC) Group businesses.

Coca-Cola Amatil (ASX:CCL) today reported its full year results for 2019, showing ongoing net profit after tax (NPAT) increased to $393.9 million up by 1.4 per cent on the same corresponding period. Australian Beverages achieved revenue growth for the first time in seven years.

Sydney Airport (ASX:SYD) reported earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortisation EBITDA of $1.33 billion, up 4 per cent on the prior corresponding period (pcp). The bushfires and coronvirus hit performance in 2020.

Best and worst performers 

The best performing sector was Consumer Staples adding 0.9 per cent while the worst performing sector was Infotech shedding 1.7 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Southern Cross Media Group (ASX:SXL), rising 13.9 per cent to close at $0.86. Shares in Perpetual (ASX:PPT) and SmartGroup Corp (ASX:SIQ) followed higher.
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Wisetech (ASX:WTC), dropping 18.88 per cent to close at $3.95. Shares in Domain Holdings Australia (ASX:RSG) and Iress (ASX:IRE) followed lower.

Asian markets

Mixed: Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.4 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.7 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has added 0.8 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,609 an ounce.
Iron ore price has shed 0.2 per cent at US$90.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 1.8 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.25 up at US$53.74 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 66.51US cents.

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