The Australian share market is playing groundhog day, adding 0.5 per cent today again, the same as Monday and Tuesday, taking this week’s ASX200 gains to over 1.5 per cent. The consumer discretionary sector is leading the rally today with Fairfax rising the most and only two sectors trailing in the red.
Qantas (ASX:QAN) shares are soaring on a cloud up 5.8 per cent after it reported its revenue lifted 7.5 per cent to $4.25 billion in the third quarter of FY18. It announced its profit after tax will be between $1.55 billion and $1.6 billion.
Woolworths (ASX:WOW) shares are also riding up after its third quarter sales for 2018 exceeded market and UBS forecast. Its Australian food sales have grown by 4.7 per cent compared to the same period last year. UBS has Woolies as a buy.
China’s manufacturing index rose more than expected.
Iron ore price remained steady at US$65.43 and futures are pointing to a rise of 0.32 per cent
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 28 points or 0.5 per cent higher at 6,044. On the futures market the SPI is 33 points higher.
Fairfax (ASX:FXJ) announced its group revenue has fallen slightly, by 1 per cent from 25 December 2017 to 22 April 2018, when compared to the same time last year. Across its segments revenue had grown in the Domain’s digital segment the most, up 21 per cent and accounted for 13 per cent of total revenue growth. As for the other segments, Macquarie Media revenue rose 4 per cent while Australian Metro Media, Stuff (New Zealand Media), and Australian Community media all saw weaker revenue over the 17 weeks of FY18’s H2. From a strategy perspective the group’s digital and non-print revenue has grown as a percentage from 23 to 39 per cent over the last four years. It comes as Fairfax CEO presents at Macquarie Australia’s conference in Sydney today. Its shares are trading 6 per cent higher at $0.75.
Four by four outback accessory company, ARB (ASX:ARB) is another one of today’s star performers. It’s established a new free-trade zoned global warehouse in Thailand and will substantially lift its warehousing and production capacity. At the same time it announced its profit after tax rose slightly, by 0.4 per cent in the first half of FY2018 to $23.4 million, while its sales rose in all parts of the business, taking total sales up 12.4 per cent to over $208 million. It declared an 9.4 per cent higher interim dividend of 17.5 cents per share. Its shares are trading 4.8 per cent higher at $21.77
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is consumer discretionary adding 1.2 per cent while the worst performing sector is telcos, shedding 0.5 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Fairfax Media Limited (ASX:FXJ), rising 6 per cent higher at $0.75, followed by shares in Qantas Airways Limited (ASX:QAN) and Wisetech Global Limited (ASX:WTC).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Gateway Lifestyle Group (ASX:GTY), dropping 9 per cent to $1.80, followed by shares in Jb Hi-Fi Limited (ASX:JBH) and Invocare Limited (ASX:IVC).
Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.1 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.4 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,310 an ounce.
One Australian dollar is buying 74.94 US cents.
Bitcoin is at US$9,065, EOS is trading 15 per cent up at US$19.18