GDP growth beats expectations: ASX rises 0.36 per cent

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

Australian shares opened stronger but struggled to hold gains. We saw a dip prior to the release of the latest GDP figures which were above expectation and the markets are now tracking sideways. Banking stocks continue to perform poorly but resources are doing particularly well. BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) is leading the index, up 2 per cent today. Commonwealth Bank (ASX:CBA) shares have fallen substantially from earlier today to be sitting 1.3 per cent lower.
A 4.3 per cent loss for Domino's Pizza is also weighing the index. Retail Food Group is down 5.3 per cent.
We saw the gold price move a little bit higher while the oil price is holding steady. Iron ore price rose 66.34 +1.3 per cent to US$66.34 and its futures are pointing to a rise of 2.16 per cent.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 21 points up at 0.36 per cent higher at 6016. On the futures market the SPI are eyeing a gain of 21 points lower/higher.

Local economic news

Australia's GDP has grown above expectation, advancing 1 per cent for the March quarter, above the 0.9 per cent consensus. Exports in mining commodities led the growth. Mining industry grew 2.9 per cent during the quarter with production levels of coal, iron ore and natural gas increasing. The result is an improvement on the previous quarter when GDP grew just 0.4 per cent. Analysts are expecting growth of around half a per cent. The market lost momentum just before the results were released – but is now tracking sideways. This comes after the Reserve bank left rates on hold yesterday.

Company news

Digital health company ResApp Health (ASX:RAP), has received a notice of Allowance from the United States Patent and Trademark office for their patent application covering the use of cough sound based audio processing. The patent protects the key component for their smartphone app that helps to diagnose acute respiratory disease. The patent is owned by the University of Queensland and is licenced exclusively to ResApp for the lifetime of the patient. ResApp has patent applications covering similar subject matter in Europe, Australia, Japan, China and South Korea. Shares in ResApp Health (ASX:RAP) is currently trading flat at $0.14

The securities of Paragon Care (ASX:PGC) will be placed in trading halt at the request of the Company. This is due to an imminent announcement from the Company. Unless ASX decides otherwise, the securities will remain in trading halt until the earlier of the commencement of normal trading on Friday, 8 June 2018 or when the announcement is released to the market. Shares in Paragon Care (ASX:PGC) last traded at $0.82

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Energy adding 1.47 per cent to 11,156 points while the worst performing sector is
Financials shedding 0.6 per cent to 5930 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Oz Minerals (ASX:OZL), rising 3.7 per cent to $10.39, followed by shares in Xero (ASX:XRO) and Western Areas (ASX:WSA).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Retail Food Group (ASX:RFG), dropping 5.3 per cent to $0.72, followed by shares in Dominos Pizza (ASX:DMP) and Metcash (ASX:MTS).

Asian markets – which are mixed

Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.5 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.2 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,298 an ounce.
One Australian dollar is buying 76.54 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Some of the most traded cryptocurrencies:
Bitcoin has gained 2 per cent to US$7629,
Ethereum gained about 3.1 per cent to US$609
and EOS has gained 5.3 per cent