10-year high: Aus shares close 1.2% higher

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

Australian stock market gained 1.2 per cent, looking like it’s got further upside if you were to look at the charts. In fact the ASX200 is at a level we last hit on the 1 January 2008, almost 10 years ago. 

Financials led most of the market higher today, with CBA (ASX:CBA) gaining the most out the big four bank rising 2.91 per cent with Wespac (ASX:WBC) gaining 2.9 per cent. Debt player, Credit Corp (ASX:CCP) also saw strong gains up 2 per cent.

Telcos were the only sector that saw weakness after Telstra (ASX:TLS) lost 4.8 per cent.

Among the miners, lithium company Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY) saw some of the strongest gains, rising 3.3 per cent. While the big three iron ore players almost finished neck-on-neck, with Fortescue (ASX:FMG) slightly out in front, rising 0.89 per cent, and BHP (ASX:BHP), and Rio (ASX:RIO) adding 0.7 per cent, despite the iron ore price falling 3 per cent to US$66.45 and its futures are pointing to a fall of 0.3 per cent.

At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 71 points higher, or 1.2 per cent higher, to finish at 6,173 points.

Futures market

The Dow Jones Futures are suggesting a rise of 131 points.
The S&P/ASX 200 Futures are suggesting a rise of 69 points.

Value of trade

$6.4 billion on volume of 857 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Telstra Corporation (ASX:TLS), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) and Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC).

Company news

Junior mining company Atlas Iron (ASX:AGO) looks like it’s a step closer to being taken over by Gina Rinehart’s company after Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) stood down from making a counter proposal. At this stage, Hancock Prospecting’s Redstone Corp’s takeover offer for about $390 million (for all of AGO’s shares for 4.2 cents per share) is now superior. Hancock Prospecting has a 20 per cent stake in the company, while her daughter, Bianca Hope Rinehart holds about 20 per cent, Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) also owns 20 per cent, and Macquarie Group (ASX:MGQ) has about 6 per cent. All the takeovers and majors buying in hasn’t moved the stock of late. Atlas Iron Limited (ASX:AGO) closed 2.27 per cent higher at $0.04.

And almost a year after Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) was hit with a seismic event back in April 2017, it advised it received US$155 million in insurance proceeds after it took a toll on its Cadia mine in NSW. The amount will be added to its statutory profit for the 2018 financial year. Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) closed 0.1 per cent higher at $21.19.

Woolworths (ASX:WOW) has removed single-use plastic bags across Australia from today, removing 3.2 billion single-use plastic bags from circulation every year, to support a greener future for Australia. Three-quarters (74.7%) of its shoppers said they wanted to move away from single-use plastic bags. And now the company follows the state of Tasmania, which has had a ban on plastic bags since 2013.

Telstra (ASX:TLS) shares slumped, nearing its all-time low price that it last hit 2010, it comes as it revealed it it will axe 8,000 jobs and reduce 2-4 layers of management.

And Westpac (ASX:WBC) advised it’s removing Grandfathered payments from its wealth management arm, BT Financial Advice for its financial products, coming into effect on 1 October 2018.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best-performing sector was Financials, which added 2.27 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Telco Services, which shed 4.15 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Wisetech Global (ASX:WTC), which rose 5.65 per cent to $16.83. Shares in Bellamy's Australia (ASX:BAL) and Bega Cheese (ASX:BGA) followed higher.

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Telstra Corporation (ASX:TLS), which fell 4.81 per cent to $2.77. Shares in Saracen Mineral (ASX:SAR) and Greencross (ASX:GXL) followed lower.

Asian markets

Have rebounded after being spooked by trade war fears. Japan's Nikkei has gained 1.28 per cent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng has gained 1.19 per cent and China's Shanghai Composite has gained 0.45 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at USD $1274.01 an ounce.
Light crude is trading $0.79 lower at USD $64.90 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 73.96 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin is trading 1.50 per cent lower at USD $6627.79, Ethereum is trading 0.66 per cent higher at USD $521.84 and EOS is trading 2.94 per cent lower at USD $10.25.