Tantalizing Thursday: Aus shares close 0.15% higher

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

It has been a positive day of trade for the Australian share market, following on from record leads from the Dow Jones and a strengthening Australian dollar which is fetching over 80 US cents.

The local bourse saw a sharp rise at the open and then some temporary selling, but the index managed to quickly shake that off, and maintain momentum in afternoon trade, before closing 0.15 per cent higher. 

On the sector front, Reits were the stand out performer for the day and overtook Consumer Staples and Materials. Dexus Property Group (ASX:DXS) gained over 1 per cent. On the Staples front, A2 Milk (ASX:A2M) jumped over 7.4 per cent, while in the Materials space, Boart Longyear (ASX:BLY) surged 37.5 per cent. 

Not much shine though for the HealthCare and Energy sectors, which saw some selling and led the decliners. 

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 8 points up to finish at 5,785.

The value of trades was $4.6 billion on volume of 672 million shares at the close of trade.

The top three stocks by value were BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RIO).

On the futures market the SPI is 13 points up.

Asian markets

The Nikkei is 0.08 per cent higher, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is 0.5 per cent higher and the Shanghai Composite is 0.05 per cent higher.

Local economic news

The ABS has revealed the Export Price Index fell 5.7 per cent in the June 2017 quarter, driven by coal and iron ore price movements. It follows of rise of 8.8 per cent in March quarter. For the year though to the June 2017 quarter, exports prices rose 22.5 per cent, fuelled by mineral fuels, lubricants price rises.

On the import price front, import prices fell 0.1 per cent in the June 2017 quarter. Meantime, the Import Price Index rose 0.3 per cent, for the year to the June 2017 quarter.

Company news 

Downer EDI (ASX:DOW) has increased its stake in Spotless Group (ASX:SPO) to 72 per cent. The engineering and infrastructure company says as it owns over 70 per cent of the company now, it expects Spotless will be removed from S&P/ASX market indices. Downer EDI says this is likely to result in a further reduction in liquidity and less institutional support for Spotless shares. The firm is encouraging spotless shareholders to accept Downer’s offer of $1.15 per spotless share by the close of Monday 31 July at 7.00pm (unless it’s extended). Shares in Downer EDI (ASX:DOW) closed 0.31 per cent higher at $6.42

Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX:FMG) advised its total iron ore shipments for the June 2017 quarter hit 44.7 million tonnes, which is 3 per cent higher than the prior quarter. The company also increased its mined ore by 12 per cent to 53.5 million tonnes for the fourth quarter of FY17.

GUD Holdings Limited (ASX:GUD) has reported a $7.3 million net loss after tax in the 2017 financial year. It follows the $43 million net loss after tax in the prior corresponding period.

Kogan.com Limited (ASX:KGN) has entered into a three year partnership with The Hollard Insurance Company, to market a range of insurance offerings under the new brand ‘Kogan Insurance’.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Reits adding 0.68 per cent to close at 1,318. The worst performing sector was Health Care, losing 0.67 per cent to close at 22,888 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was The A2 Milk Company Limited (ASX:A2M), rising 7.42 per cent to close at $4.20. Shares in St Barbara Limited (ASX:SBM) and Seven Group Holdings Limited (ASX:SVW) also closed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Bluescope Steel Limited (ASX:BSL), dropping 4.09 per cent to close at $13.14. Shares in Independence Group Nl (ASX:IGO) and IPH Limited (ASX:IPH(also closed lower.

IPOs

Convenience Retail REIT (ASX:CRR) started trading today. The investment fund owns 66 service stations and convenience retail assets valued at $308 million. The occupancy rate is 99.4 per cent. CRR floated with an issue price of $3.00, opened at $3.00 and it closed at $2.99

Commodities

Gold is trading at $US1,263 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.83 up at $US48.72 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 80.46 US cents.