Photo finish: Aus shares close 1.3% higher

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share had a shiner of the day, gaining 1.2 per cent, taking us back to where we where in the middle of last month. Telcos again shone today after Vocus (ASX:VOC) gained over 5 per cent and Telstra (ASX:TLS) extended its upward surge. Staples also flexed their muscle with Bellamy’s (ASX:BAL) up the most. 

Financials boded well, with fund manager Platinum Asset Management (ASX:PTM) up over 3 per cent, with the Bank of Queensland (ASX:BOQ) following.

Out of the big banks, CBA (ASX:CBA) gained the most, up 2.3 per cent with Westpac (ASX:WBC) following up 2.2 per cent even though ASIC commenced civil proceedings in the Federal Court against the big four bank, Westpac, for ‘poor financial advice’, by one of its former financial planners (Sudhir Sinha).

Miners also enjoyed a rally, after the iron price rose to US$68.49, while its futures are suggesting a dip of 0.2 per cent

At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 77 points higher, or 1.3 per cent higher, to finish at 6,094 points. And over the week we gained 49 points or 0.8 per cent

Futures market

The Dow Jones Futures are suggesting a fall of 16 points.
The S&P/ASX 200 Futures are suggesting a rise of 81 points.

Value of trade

$9.5 billion on volume of 1.2 billion shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), OSL and BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP).

Company news

Infant formula business, Wattle Health (ASX:WHA) received a some major institutional buy in today with Industry Super Holdings snapping up 6.5 per cent [6.47 per cent] of its shares. That was a welcome move for shareholders after its shares bounced up from its one month low of $1.26. As for shares in Wattle Health  (ASX:WHA) they closed 2.38 per cent higher at $1.29.

BHP (ASX:BHP) approved the $US2.9 billion injection into a new iron ore mine in WA’s Pilbara region, The South Flank project. It will replace the 80 mega tonne Yandi mine, which is nearing the end of economic life. BHP will have a 85 per cent stake in the project, with its partners funding the rest of the overall $US3.4 billion project.

CIMIC’s(ASX:CIM) CPB Contractors have won a $260 million BHP (ASX:BHP) contract to provide the majority of the South Flank project’s infrastructure works (from earthworks to concrete and underground services for the new WA Pilbara iron ore mine.

Lendlease (ASX:LLC) unveiled its $15.7 billion urbanisation pipeline, saying they’re focused on securing large scale projects, above $1 billion in end value, over multiple property cycles.

Kogan's (ASX:KGN) chief executive Ruslan Kogan and chief financial officer David Shafer reduced their majority holdings in the company, taking profits, after the company has grown from a $1.61 stock one year ago, to where it is today with both parties selling some of their major holdings at $7.00 per share.

AGL (ASX:AGL) received some extra backing today from a heavyweight fund manager, after Vanguard Group became a major holder in the company, buying over 5 per cent of AGL’s shares

And Trimantum GrowthOps (ASX:TGO) which was one of the biggest tech IPOs of last year, announced it’s a step closer to taking over Asia Pacific Digital (APD) (ASX:DIG) for about $20 million. APD is an Asian digital transformation company, with 300 staff across Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand. The recommended takeover offer involves 1 TGO share for every 8.9 APD shares, based on TGO’s closing price of $1.23 from 14 June 2018, and that’s a 133 per cent premium for APD. 

Best and worst performers of the day

The best-performing sector was Financials Excluding Real Estate Investment Trusts, which added 1.89 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Health Care, which shed 0.21 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Bellamy'S Australia (ASX:BAL), which rose 5.43 per cent to $17.09. Shares in Monadelphous Group (ASX:MND) and Vocus Group Ltd (ASX:VOC) followed higher.

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Retail Food Group (ASX:RFG), which fell 5.22 per cent to $0.55. Shares in Ausdrill Limited (ASX:ASL) and Aveo Group (ASX:AOG) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan's Nikkei has gained 0.53 per cent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng has lost 0.02 per cent and China's Shanghai Composite has lost 0.85 per cent.

Wall Street

Wrapped up the four trading days this week mixed: The Dow Jones lost 0.6 per cent, The S&P 500 added 1.2 per cent and the tech heavy Nasdaq gained 1.5 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at USD $1,299.59 an ounce.
Light crude is trading $0.30 higher at USD $66.82 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 74.57 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin is trading 1.71 per cent higher at USD $6617.04, Ethereum is trading 4.69 per cent higher at USD $510.16 and EOS is trading 7.31 per cent higher at USD $11.02.