Retail trade beats expecations: Aus shares close 0.6% higher

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market kicked off the trading week in the green, with the property, discretionary and mining sectors shining the most throughout the session.

Wall Street wrapped up last week’s close higher, and lithium price pushed 1 per cent up on the month with Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) claiming one of the best performing posts.

As for the major miners, Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) made the most gains today, continuing its upward trend from its May low, with the iron ore price pushing higher, rising 1.3 per cent (to US$66.16) while its futures are pointing fall of 1.2 per cent.

At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 35 points higher, or 0.6 per cent higher, to finish at 6025.50 points.

Futures market

The Dow Jones Futures are suggesting a rise of 67 points.
The S&P/ASX 200 Futures are suggesting a rise of 33 points.

Value of trades

$4.3 billion on volume of 627 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), Unibail-Rodamco Westfield (ASX:URW) and National Australia Bank (ASX:NAB).

Economic news

Retail sales rose more than expected in April, by 0.4 per cent, beating forecasts and market expectations. Sales in cafes, restaurants and takeaways led rise, following on from the prior month’s flat growth (0.0 per cent in March).

Company news

Webjet (ASX:WEB) has announced a suite of changes to its board, including the appointment of Aristocrat Leisure’s (ASX:ALL) former chief financial officer, Toni Korsanos as a new independent non-exec director. She’s also on the board of Crown Resorts (ASX:CWN). Webjet also hired its Senior Independent Director, Brad Holman as the chair of its audit committee. It also announced some other changes. Shares in Webjet Limited (ASX:WEB) closed 1.84 per cent higher at $12.74.

The Commonwealth Bank (ASX:CBA) agreed to pay a $702.5 million in fines and legal costs for allegedly breaching anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws. The Federal Government's financial intelligence agency, AUSTRAC accused the bank of serious and systemic breaches of the laws last year, with CBA admitting further contraventions. The agreement with CBA and AUSTRAC is subject to court approval, with the court date book for 3 August 2017. Despite the news, Commonwealth Bank (ASX:CBA) shares closed 1.44 per cent higher at $69.69.

Organic baby food company Bubs Australia (ASX:BUB) says it will at least double revenue with a $17 million dollar deal with a China-based supply chain and service provider, New Times Asia, which will add an extra 20 e-commerce platforms to Bubs belt.

Mortgage Choice (ASX:MOC) has been in talks with its franchisees about a more competitive pay model for growth, as well as attracting new businesses to its network. The new model which will be handed down in July and will work on an opt-in basis from August 2018. Once finalised and approval it will be advised to the market, however at this stage it says the new model won’t affect FY2018 cash result.

Real estate investment trust company, Vicinity Centres (ASX:VCX) has announced plans for the sale of up to $1 billion of sub-regional and neighbourhood shopping centres. The proceeds will be reinvested into value adding development opportunities.

And lottery business, Jumbo Interactive (ASX:JIN) is expecting to increase its attributable net profit after tax by 102 per cent to about $11.3 million and it will also pay a special dividend of 8 cents. It comes as its total transaction value is expected to jump up by 25 per cent for the financial year ending 30 June 2018 to $182 million, on the back of customer re-engagement and customer new purchases.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best-performing sector was Real Estate Investment Trusts, which added 1.59 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Utilities, which shed 1.35 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Mayne Pharma Ltd (ASX:MYX), which rose 7.98 per cent to $0.88. Shares in Cybg PLC (ASX:CYB) and Soul Pattinson (W.H) (ASX:SOL) followed higher.

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Onemarket (ASX:OMN), which fell 10.17 per cent to $1.32. Shares in AGL Energy Limited. (ASX:AGL) and JB Hi-Fi Limited (ASX:JBH) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has added 1.5 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 1.5 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.7 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at USD $1291.69 an ounce.
Light crude is trading $1.23 lower at USD $65.81 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 76.19 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin trades at US$7,686, Ethereum trades at US$618 and EOS trades at US$14.20.