Lithium shines again: Aus shares close 0.16% higher

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market clawed back some of yesterday’s losses gaining 0.2 per cent. The healthcare sector led the way in the afternoon, followed by financials, industrials miners and staples.

Lithium players charged ahead today with Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY) and Orocobre (ASX:ORE) taking the first and fifth best posts.

CBA (ASX:CBA) gained the most out of the big banks, rising 1 per cent. While among the big miners, Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) gained the most, while BHP (ASX:BHP) bounced back after they lost 2.9 per cent yesterday. Meantime, Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) stayed underwater as the iron ore price slightly dipped while its futures are pointing to a fall of 1.43 per cent.

At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 9.60 points higher, or 0.16 per cent higher, to finish at 6,014 points.

Futures market

The Dow Jones Futures are suggesting a rise of 9 points.
The S&P/ASX 200 Futures are suggesting a rise of 1 point.

Value of trades

$5.2 billion on volume of 687 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Westfield Corporation (ASX:WFD), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) and BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP)

Company news

ABC reported today about 1.35 million fish died in Tasmania’s Macquarie Harbour from October 2017 to March 2018, however Salmon grower and farmer Tassal Group (ASX:TGR) says it already alerted the market about the issue in late 2017, caused by both a challenging summer and a fish disease (that’s endemic in Tasmania). However, it says it stabilised the issue and replaced the fish from its nursery. It further announced that as the fish were juvenile it will not likely have an impact on its results. Shares in Tassal Group (ASX:TGR) closed 0.75 per cent higher at $4.03.

Westfield (ASX:WFD) has been given the green light by the Supreme Court to be taken over by European real estate giant Unibail-Rodamco, which means Westfield shares will finish trading tomorrow Wednesday 30 May. Shares in Westfield Corp (ASX:WFD) closed 0.23 per cent higher at $8.87.

Lithium major Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY) shot the lights out gaining about 14 per cent today after announcing it will sell a northern tenement package in sought after Argentina, for US$280 million.

Retail Food Group (ASX:RFG) announced the departure of CEO Andre Nell, with his second in command Richard Hinson replacing him. Richard has worked with the likes of Wrigley Pacific and Metcash Supermarket and Convenience. The changes to management come after the company’s share price has fallen by more than 85 per cent over the last twelve months.

Cellular medicine company, Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) has partnered with Cartherics to develop an off the shelf treatment for solid cancer, which has the potential to dramatically reduce treatment costs. The program will be funded by the Australian government’s research centres program.

IPOs

Galileo Mining Limited (ASX:GAL) started trading today. The cobalt and nickel explorer floated with an issue price of 20 cents, opened at 35 cents and closed at 31.5 cents.

Payroll outsourcing company, PayGroup Limited (ASX:PYG) started trading today after having 400 clients’ entities across 18 countries on its books, It floated with an issue price of 50 cents, opened at 65 cents and closed at 87 cents.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best-performing sector was Health Care, which added 0.82 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Telco Services, which shed 1.05 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Galaxy Resources Limited (ASX:GXY), rising 14.38 per cent to $3.42.. Shares in Retail Food Group Limited (ASX:RFG) and Lynas Corporation Limited (ASX:LYC) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Corporate Travel Management Limited (ASX:CTD), which fell 5.76 per cent to $24.20. Shares in Altium Limited (ASX:ALU) and NEXTDC Limited (ASX:NXT) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan's Nikkei has lost 0.59 per cent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng has lost 0.68 per cent and China's Shanghai Composite has lost 0.51 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at USD $1299.09 an ounce.
Light crude is trading $1.41 lower at USD $66.47 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 75.32 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin trades at US$7,111, Ethereum trades 4 per cent lower to US$524 and EOS is 10 per cent lower to US$11.11