Reign of REITs: ASX closes 0.64% higher

Market Reports

by David Chau

Yesterday was a disappointing start to the trading week. But today, the Australian share market surged, and erased all of yesterday’s losses. The local index opened higher, kept its head above water the whole time, and has finished the day 0.64% higher.

The biggest winner of today was Aconex, a construction software company. The company’s share soared after announcing its revenue is expected to grow by around 39% to 46% this financial year.  In contrast, Bega Cheese came out as one of the weakest companies today.

Real estate investment trusts (REITs) provided the biggest boost to the most to the share market today. While the weakest sector was Energy at lunchtime, it has now been overtaken by Staples.

The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 34 points down to finish at 5,443.

The value of trades was $4.7 billion on volume of 710 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Westpac (ASX:WBC), ANZ (ASX:ANZ) and Commonwealth Bank (ASX:CBA).

On the futures market the SPI is up 29 points.

Company news

At its annual general meeting today, Bega Cheese (ASX:BGA) said that it didn’t meet sales forecasts from its partnership with Blackmores – to sell infant formula in China and Australia. The company says regulatory changes in China, and new supply channels, have led to the company offering significant price discounts, which points to short-term oversupply. Bega Cheese also says there will be a $5 million to $7 million provision on its balance sheet as a result.

APN News & Media Ltd (ASX:APN) has announced it will acquire the remaining 50% of Adshel that it doesn’t already own for $268.4 million.

In its first quarter update this financial year, Mirvac Group (ASX:MGR) reaffirmed its operating earnings guidance of 14 to 14.4 cents per stapled security. Mirvac also says it’s on track for operating earnings growth between 8% and 11% in FY17.

Southern Cross Electrical Engineering Ltd (ASX:SXE) says that it could face a net loss (after tax) of $2 million in the half year ended 31 December 2016. Southern Cross says this was due to a slower than expected ramp-up of work in the first half of the year.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was REITS, adding 1 per cent to close at 1,347. The worst performing sector was Staples, losing 0.4 per cent to close at 9,226 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Aconex, rising 13.1 per cent to close at $5.87. Shares in IPH and Fortescue Metals also closed higher.

The worst performing stock was Bega Cheese, dropping 16.8 per cent to close at $5.40. Shares in Ardent Leisure Group and ALS also closed lower.

Commodities

Gold is trading at $US1,266 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.36 down at $US50.49 per barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7629.

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