ASX hits fourth consecutive gain: Aus shares close 0.59% higher

Market Reports

by Peter Milios

Healthcare and Information Technology were the only sectors lagging in today's session, whilst Energy and Real Estate led the day.

In company news, the shares in Chris Ellison-backed rare earths developer VHM (ASX:VHM) have dropped on the first day of trading on the ASX. Shares were 14.81 per cent lower at $1.15 at the day’s end.

Overall, at the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 was 0.62 per cent or 44 points higher at 7,153.50.


The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a rise of 91 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a rise of 14.25 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a rise of 61 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 49 points when the market next opens.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Energy, up 1.52 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Information Technology, down 0.64 per cent.

The best-performing large cap was South32 (ASX:S32), closing 4.47 per cent higher at $4.44. It was followed by shares in James Hardie Industries (ASX:JHX) and Meridian Energy (ASX:MEZ).

The worst-performing large cap was Computershare (ASX:CPU), closing 5.69 per cent lower at $24.21. It was followed by shares in ResMed (ASX:RMD) and QBE Insurance Group (ASX:QBE).

Asian markets

Japan's Nikkei has gained 0.59 per cent.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng has gained 1.68 per cent.
China's Shanghai Composite has gained 2.56 per cent.

Company news

LBT Innovations (ASX:LBT) has been engaged by AstraZeneca, to undertake a full product development project for the Company’s new APAS Pharma analysis module to be used on the APAS® Independence instrument. The partnership includes funding of AUD$1million for their development project, based on achieving technical milestones. LBT CEO and Managing Director, Mr Brent Barnes said: “This partnership is really exciting for the Company. AstraZeneca leads this field and is looking to innovate its processes and set the standard for others to follow. Our APAS® technology is ideally suited for the application of microbial quality control, able to improve consistency of results and drive standardisation across manufacturing sites.” Shares closed 16.67 per cent higher at $0.063.

Tianqi Lithium Energy Australia proposes to acquire 100 per cent of Essential Metals Limited (ASX: ESS) by way of a Scheme of Arrangement, equating to a proposal of A$0.50 in cash per share. Commenting on the proposed acquisition, Tim Spencer, Managing Director of Essential said; “We believe this transaction is a great outcome for Essential shareholders and for other stakeholders.” Shares closed 39.13 per cent higher at $0.48.

Sabre Resources (ASX:SBR) announced that the latest drilling intersections and new EM results demonstrate massive sulphide potential. In response, Sabre Resources CEO, Jon Dugdale, commented, “Significantly, the new EM anomaly is the strongest detected from surface to date. This indicates strong potential for additional massive sulphide discoveries in this new target zone.” Shares closed 21.43 per cent higher at $0.051.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,879.90 an ounce.
Iron ore is 2.2 per cent higher at US$119.80 a tonne.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a 2.8 per cent fall.
Light crude is trading $0.91 higher at US$74.68 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 69.29 US cents.

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