The Australian share market started the trading week with green tracks, with the ASX200 up about 0.4 per cent or with S&P/ASX 200 index closeing 22 points or 0.36 per cent higher at 6,085.
The local bourse has been going strong for the past three weeks and now we are back in record territory. Today’s gains were helped by a lift in the crude oil price which rose above the $70.00 mark on political tension with Venezuela and Iran. The likes of Origin Energy (ASX:ORG) gained 2.6 per cent
All sectors boded well today with solid gains also made in the discretionary space with Kogan (ASX:KGN) up 5.8 per cent and Webjet (ASX:WEB) up 1.7 per cent.
As for the miners, iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.85 per cent, and heavy weights like BHP (ASX:BHP) added 1.5 per cent.
We had positive leads from the get-go, as Wall Street closed higher on Friday following a tech rally.
The Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 83 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 9 points up.
Value of trades
$4.7 billion on volume of 573 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were WBC (ASX:WBC), NAB (ASX:NAB) and BHP (ASX:BHP).
Local economic news
Non-residential construction grew for the 15th consecutive month in April, according to the Australian Industry Group (AIG). Despite the consistent growth, the index fell slightly from 57.2 to 55.4, just missing economist expectations of 55.5. But, a reading above 50, indicates the industry is still growing.
Iluka Resources (ASX:ILU) announced a suite of on market share purchases today, with the company announcing almost 600,000 shares were purchased as part on director, executives and employee shares purchase plans. Its shares gained 1.4 per cent today, closing at $11.66.
Westpac (ASX:WBC) shares jumped the most out of the big four today after it reporting a 7 per cent jump in its net profit for the six months ending March 2018. According to UBS its results were 2 per cent ahead of expectations. Despite that, UBS has still marked the stocks as a sell. But other brokers say that will change.
Australia’s largest plumbing and bathroom supply company Reece (ASX:REH) has announced a $1.9 billion takeover of US plumbing business MORSCO Inc.
The Commonwealth Bank (ASX:CBA) announced ratings agency, Fitch has affirmed its long-term issuer default rating (IDR) at AA-, but revised its outlook from stable to negative.
Orica (ASX:ORI) reported half yearly results this morning which disappointed traders, despite announcing a lower first half 2018 that was ‘in line with guidance’, it saw a 37 per cent slump in its net profit after tax.
And Blue Sky Alternative Investments (ASX:BLA), the fund manager, which found itself the target of US short-selling firm, Glaucas, has withdrawn its net profit after tax guidance and fee earning assets under management guidance for 2018 and 2019. It also advised its Chairman will stand down from the role. And that the board is looking at remodelling the business and management structure.
Best and worst performers of the day
The best performing sector was energy adding 0.8 per cent while the worst performing sector was healthcare, shedding 0.02 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Lynas Corporation (ASX:LYC), rising 4.4 per cent to close at $2.88. Shares in Seven West Media (ASX:SWM) and Orocobre (ASX:ORE) followed higher.
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Pendal Group (ASX:PDL), dropping 6.5 per cent to close at $9.05. Shares in Orica (ASX:ORI) and Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR) followed lower.
Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.04 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.4 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 1.2 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,313 an ounce.
Light crude is $1.29 up at $US69.72 barrel. Earlier it was at $US70.00
One Australian dollar is buying 75.14 US cents.
Bitcoin shed 5 per cent US$9,366, Ethereum has lost 8 per cent to US$761 and Bitcoin Cash shed 7 per cent US$1,682