Back at 10-yr highs: Aus shares close 0.2% higher

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market extended its gains from Friday’s stellar session and gained 0.2 per cent today, taking the ASX200 back to where it was mid-May, at 10-year highs.

Over half of the major sectors made green tracks today with property leading the charge, while telcos and mining companies held us back after commodity prices fell on US trade tariffs, while the iron ore price remained steady at US$68.49.

At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 10 points higher, or 0.17 per cent higher, to finish at 6,104 points.

On the futures market

The Dow Jones Futures are suggesting a fall of 113 points.
The S&P/ASX 200 Futures are suggesting a rise of 3 points.

Value of trade 

$5.2 billion on volume of 683 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) and Telstra Corporation (ASX:TLS).

Economic news

Less Australians are travelling to NZ than they did one year ago. According to new stats from the Australian Bureau of Statistics we are travelling to NZ 3.3 per cent less than last year.

Company news

Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY) shares copped a bit of selling today after the company that owns the royalty rights of its WA Mt Cattlin Mine, advised it’s selling its rights for $11 million. Under the agreement Red 5 (ASX:RED) will sell the rights, which allow it to receive $1.50 per tonne of processed ore, selling it to a Canadian royalty company, Lithium Royalty Corporation. Shares in Galaxy Resources closed 3.69 per cent lower at $3.13. 

South32 (ASX:S32) inked a deal to buy the remaining 83 per cent of Toronto-listed Arizona Mining that it doesn't already own, for $US1.3 billion.

Bubs Australia (ASX:BUB) raised $40 million in a significantly oversubscribed share placement, to bolster the company’s growth in China.

The takeover of Atlas Iron (ASX:AGO) is heating up, with Gina Rinehart’s company, Hancock Prospecting increasing its majority stake in the company to 20 per cent [19.96 per cent]. Further to that, her subsidiary company Redstone made a takeover offer of about $390 million (offering to buy all of its shares for 4.2 cents per share). Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) also owns 20 per cent [19.9 per cent] of AGO, while Macquarie Group (ASX:MGQ) holds over 6 per cent, and Credit Suisse also has a holding too.

In response to today's takeover, Atlas Iron (ASX:AGO) advised not to take any action, until the board has assessed the offer. Today Atlas Iron (ASX:AGO) also made its first direct shipment of lithium, from Port Headland, bound for China. Under the agreement, with SinoSteel, it purchased the lithium from Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) Pilgangoora mine. And that will also benefit PLS with revenue and cashflow.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best-performing sector was Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), which added 1.12 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Telco Services, which shed 1.99 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Saracen Mineral (ASX:SAR), which rose 3.64 per cent to $2.28. Shares in Pact Group Hldgs Ltd (ASX:PGH) and Aveo Group (ASX:AOG) followed higher.

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY), which fell 3.69 per cent to $3.13. Shares in Mayne Pharma Ltd (ASX:MYX) and Technology One (ASX:TNE) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan's Nikkei has lost 0.73 per cent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng and China's Shanghai Composite are closed due to a public holiday.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1280.95 an ounce.
Light crude is trading $1.84 lower at US$64.85 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 74.50 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin is trading 1.40 per cent lower at US$6,476.25, Ethereum is trading 1.6 per cent lower at US$497.30 and Bitcoin Cash is trading 2.23 per cent lower at US$840.55.