Consumer sentiment drops 6.1%: Aus shares close 1.9% higher

Market Reports

by Ortenzia Borre

The Australian share market rose sharply at the open and continued to rally closing 1.9 per cent up at the end of today’s trade.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 112 points higher to finish at 6,053.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 269 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a lift of 26 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a rise of 58 points.
The ASX200 futures are eyeing a 114 point rise tomorrow morning.

Local economic news 

Consumer sentiment has dropped again as the COVID-19 second wave hits parts of the country. The Westpac-Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment fell 6.1 per cent to 87.9 in July from 93.7 in June. The drop in confidence reverses all of last month’s impressive gain, taking the Index back to the weak levels seen in May but still leaving it 16 per cent above April’s extreme low of 75.

Broker moves

Citi has rated Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) as a Buy. Strong production and a build up in inventory characterised the June quarter although the company expects strong sales in the first quarter of FY21 as inventory normalises. The broker incorporates lower equity sales during the June quarter into forecasts. Shares in Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) closed 1.6 per cent lower at $1.50.

Looking at some more headlines:

Neo-lender Wisr (ASX:WZR) has received funding approval from the Australian Office of Financial Management of $30.8 million

Afterpay (ASX:APT) has introduced Apple Pay for in-store payments. Customers can now use Apple Pay to make purchases through Afterpay in physical retail stores and online.

Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) has reported a record quarterly production in the June quarter, delivering record production of 25.9 Million Barrels of Oil Equivalent, up 7 per cent from Q1 2020.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Information Technology adding 2.8 per cent while the sector with the fewest gains was Communication Services adding 0.9 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals (ASX:CUV), rising 6.8 per cent to close at $23.55. Shares in NRW Holdings (ASX:NWH) and News Corporation (ASX:NWS) followed.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was IOOF Holdings (ASX:IFL), dropping 2.9 per cent to close at $4.99 cents. Shares in Treasury Wine Estates (ASX:TWE) and Woodside Petroleum (ASX:DOW) followed lower.

Asian markets

Mixed: Japan's Nikkei has added 1.6 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.1 per cent and the Shanghai Composite is 0.3 per cent down.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,809 an ounce.
Iron ore price added 1.3 per cent to US$112.48.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.6 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.14 up at US$40.69 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 70.05 US cents.