Muscling up: Aus shares close 0.9% higher

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

It has been a stellar day of trade for the Australian share market with the consumer discretionary space shining as well as the banks, while we also saw the miners and energy stocks shine on the back of some commodity prices as well as the oil price bouncing back up. The ASX200 popped at the open, gained momentum with most of the sectors dancing higher, except telcos. The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 52 points up, or 0.87 per cent higher to finish at 6,090.

In the consumer discretionary online retailer (ASX:KGN) shone brightly rising over 8 per cent. Not fuelled by any announcements, just positive sentiment. Crown Resorts (ASX:CWN), Aristocrat (ASX:ALL) and Myer (ASX:MYR) all gained over 2 per cent.

Among the finance players, a company that floated last November, Netwealth Group (ASX:NWL) saw one of the best gains in its space, about 2.3 per cent, with IAG (ASX:IAG) following, along with BT Investment Management (ASX:BTT) after BTIM Australia announced a new CEO.

From the outset too, we did have positive leads to follow from US stocks as Wall Street snapped its two-day losing streak on the back of stronger company earnings. And if you looked at the futures market now, it’s eyeing another rise tonight, which also helped our market to stay buoyed.

On the futures market the SPI is 54 points up.

The value of trades was $5.8 billion on volume of 756 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP), Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RIO) and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) and

Local economic news

Building approvals fell by a massive 20.0 per cent in December, driven by a fall in private dwellings excluding houses. The market was expecting a fall of 8 per cent month on month.

Meantime, export prices rose more than market expected, so too did import prices.

And fresh figures revealed Australian manufacturing industry had a strong start in 2018 and better than the market expected. AIG’s price manufacturing index rose to 58.7 in January, indicating faster growth than at the end of 2017 (as the index hit 56.2). It’s important to remember, readings above 50 indicate expansionary activity.

Company news

Infant formula, baby food, and milk powders company, Wattle Health (ASX:WHA) secured its Asian expansion with its first order from Macau for its nutritional dairy range. And the company says it’s only the beginning for its international growth. At the same time the company announced it clocked $329,000 in sales for January, which accounted for 35 per cent of its sales for FY2017. And again, it expects its sales will grow further. Its shares closed 10.6 per cent higher at $2.50.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) has come out in response to the prudential regulator’s (APRA) progress report about its inquiry saying it’s been fully cooperative and provided APRA with access to its employees and documents. CBA acknowledged there are aspects of its culture that could be improved but are expecting the Prudential Inquiry Panel to hand down a final report with findings and recommendations at the end of April 2018.

Big Un (ASX:BIG) has announced the appointment of David Steinberg as Chairman of its Global Advisory Board. David Steinberg is also Co-Founder and CEO of Zeta Global, a strategic partner of Big Un’s and Co-Founder of Caivis Investment Corp. He has also appeared on CNBC and Fox Business news and has started up $2 billion of companies.

And health and beauty product company McPherson’s (ASX:MCP) reported better-than-expected results underlying profit after tax results and it’s shares popped over 10 per cent higher today.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was discretionary adding 1.3 per cent to close at 2,281.
The worst performing sector was telcos, shedding 0.6 per cent to close at 1,310 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was G.U.D. Holdings Limited (ASX:GUD), rising 5.8 per cent to close at $2.97. Shares in Beach Energy Limited (ASX:BPT) and Seven Group Holdings Limited (ASX:SVW) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Tassal Group Limited (ASX:TGR), dropping 6.4 per cent to close at $3.68. Shares in Lynas Corporation Limited (ASX:LYC) and Asaleo Care Limited (ASX:AHY) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has added 1.4 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.4 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 1.1 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,345 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.27 up at $US64.77 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 80.42 US cents.


The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading higher.

Bitcoin has gained 2.2 per cent to $10,215
Ethereum gained about 7.2 per cent to $1,150
And Tether added about 0.3 per cent to $0.99


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