Galaxy shoots for the sky: Aus shares close 0.5% higher

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market finished with a gain of almost 0.5 per cent, our second gain this week. We had positive leads to follow as global markets bounced back and commodities rallied.

The crude oil price rallied over 2 per cent on OPEC states and non-states sticking to a global pact on cutting oil supplies till the end of 2018. As such energy stocks charged up the most, up over 2 per cent while materials (miners) followed after the iron ore price rose 3 per cent to US$65.78 and its futures are eyeing a lift of 0.65 per cent.

Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) and Santos (ASX:STO) rose over 3 per cent among the energy giants, while lithium companies rose the most in the miners, continuing its record setting rally after the lithium price hit its all time high in January of this year.

At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 27.20 points higher, or 0.45 per cent higher, to finish at 6012 points.

Futures market

The Dow Jones Futures are suggesting a rise of 12 points.
The S&P/ASX 200 Futures are suggesting a rise of 13 points.

Value of trades

$8.7 billion on volume of 1.1 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP), CSL (ASX:CSL), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA).

Economic news

Private new capital spending rose 0.4 per cent in March, according to the ABS, which came in-line with market expectations. It was however a dip compared to the prior months 0.5 per cent lift in spending.

Company news

Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY) continued its rally this week after Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG) upgraded the stock from a underperform, sell rating to a outperform high. Shares in Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY) are now about now 18 per cent off its all-time high, today it closed 4.49 per cent higher at $3.49.

A smaller lithium player, Tawana Resources (ASX:TAW) held its annual general meeting today after announcing two lithium concentrate shipments to China this month. The company earns its 50 per cent lithium rights at Bald Hill after it spent $7.5 million on exploration at the site in WA. Shares in Tawana Resources NL (ASX:TAW) closed 1.16 per cent higher at $0.43.

Accounting software provider MYOB Group (ASX:MYO) is no longer pursuing the acquisition of Reckon’s Accountant Group (ASX:RKN) as the regulatory process was taking longer than expected and is instead fast tracking the $50 million R&D spend over the next two years to bring forward the delivery on its online platform.

The ASX (ASX:ASX) entered the electronic property settlement market by partnering with Australia’s leading eConveyancing tech and process business, to offer, lawyers, conveyancers, and finanical companies a more efficient way of settling properties. The ASX will invest $30 million in the new JV across this and next financial year, with further investments in 2019 and 2020, and it will break even in FY2021.

Regenerative medicine company Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) reported an after tax loss of US$14.5 million in the nine months to 31 March 2018, an improvement of 71 per cent compared to the same time last year, it also reported a 19 per cent quarterly lift in revenues and new chief financial officer.

Zip Co (ASX:Z1P) has added Super Retail Group (ASX:SUL) to the list of companies joining its buy now pay later payments platform, which will give it access to Super Retail Group’s specialty stores including Rebel, BCF, and Super Cheap Auto, which have $2.5 billion in revenue.

IPOs

Onemarket (ASX:OMN) started trading today. It issued at $1.38, opened at $1.52 and closed at $1.53.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best-performing sector was energy, adding 2.33 per cent. The worst-performing sector was healthcare, shedding 0.46 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Nine Entertainment (ASX:NEC), which rose 6.17 per cent to $2.41. Shares in Bellamy'S Australia (ASX:BAL) and Sigma Health Ltd (ASX:SIG) followed higher.

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was MYOB Group Ltd (ASX:MYO), which fell 8.17 per cent to $2.81. Shares in Retail Food Group (ASX:RFG) and Genworth Mortgage (ASX:GMA) followed lower.

Asian markets 

Japan's Nikkei has gained 0.87 per cent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng has gained 0.86 per cent and China's Shanghai Composite has gained 1.51 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at USD $1304.17 an ounce.
Light crude is trading $1.50 higher at USD $68.23 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 75.65 US cents

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin US$7,505, Ethereum is slightly higher US$572 and EOS to US$12.35