Santa claw back: Aus shares close 0.1% higher

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market spent the day in recovery mode, gaining momentum each hour, recouping its early losses from the open, but failed to make solid gains, closing virtually flat or 0.1 per cent higher.

The ASX200 mustered up as much strength as it could, with half of the major sectors seeing gains and the Discretionary space shining. Dreamworld owner Ardent Leisure (ASX:AAD) gained about 12 per cent after announcing plans to sell off a division, while BIG Un (ASX:BIG) share rose 12 per cent as well after it partnered with the world’s largest private marketing cloud, Zeta.

Australian Agricultural Company (ASX:AAC) shares also soared after it appointed a new MD and CEO.

Going the other way and putting a cap of gains was Retail Food Group (ASX:RFG), which fell 18 per cent, continuing its run of losses.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 0.06 per cent higher or 4 points up on Wednesday to 6,076.

The value of trades was $5.6 billion on volume of 782 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ASX:ANZ) and CSL (ASX:CSL).

On the futures market the SPI is 9 points up.

Local economic news

Household borrowing more than halved according to the ABS’s Finance and Wealth publication.

And the ABS also announced Santa will be busy this Christmas visiting the 2 million Australian families with children under the age of 12. The most children live in New South Wales (1.2 million), followed by Victoria (947,408) and then Queensland (795,908), according to the 2016 Census.

Company news now

Multibillion dollar lithium and tantalum developer, Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) has inked an offtake sales agreement worth about $12 million, with a leading provider of tantalum metallurgical products and concentrates, Global Advanced Metals. It’s a two-year agreement for 45,400 kilograms (100,000 pounds) of 4-5 per cent concentrate from the Pilgangoora Lithium-Tantalum WA project and will start in the second half of 2018.
Its share closed 0.4 per cent lower at $1.19.

Mirvac (ASX:MGR) has completed the sale of 50 per cent of its Kawana Shoppingworld in the Sunshine Coast in QLD for $186 million. Its shares closed 0.4 per cent higher at $4.46.

Ardent Leisure Group (ASX:AAD) is planning to sell its Bowling & Entertainment division for $160 million, a multiple of 32 times its FY17 core EBIT. Its shares closed 12 per cent higher today.

Orica (ASX:ORI) has inked a deal to buy a global market leader in monitoring and measuring technologies in the mining sector, GroundProbe, for $205 million. Not much movement in Orica shares today.

And Dairy processing company, Synlait Milk (ASX:SM1) has partnered with Foodstuffs South Island to supply fresh milk and cream from late 2019 onwards. It will invest $125 million in a liquid and cream processing packaging facility to produce products for both the domestic and export markets. Its shares gained over 4 per cent today.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Consumer Discretionary adding 0.64 per cent to close at 2,344..
The worst performing sector was Telcos, shedding 0.9 per cent to close at 1,319. points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Ardent Leisure Group (ASX:AAD), rising 12 per cent to close at $19.94. Shares in Australian Agricultural Company (ASX:AAC) and St Barbara Limited (ASX: SBM) also closed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Retail Food Group Limited (ASX:RFG), dropping 18 per cent to close at $1.63. Shares in Mayne Pharma Group Limited (ASX:MYX) and Ausnet Services Limited (ASX:AST) also closed lower. 

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.07 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.04 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.04 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,264 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.44 up at $US57.66 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 76.59 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

The three most traded are in a red territory.

Bitcoin has fallen 11 per cent in the last 24 hours to $16,977
Ethereum fallen about over 2 per cent to $778
And Litecoin has fallen about 8 per cent to $327
 

Jessica Amir

Finance News Network
Jessica joined FNN in January 2017 with a passion for equities and funds management. As Head of News, she has been a broadcast journalist for over seven years, specialising in finance. She was a journalist with Sky News Business, ABC 1, ABC's The Business and ABC24. She’s also worked as a TV reporter for Prime 7 and WIN News. Jessica has worked as a financial planner and real estate agent.