Mustering up on Tuesday: Aus shares close 0.5% higher

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market finished over 0.5 per cent higher today, with most of our sectors contributing and pulling their weight. Telstra (ASX:TLS) added over 2 per cent and lead Telcos higher, while miners were the only sector that closed with a loss today. It comes as the iron ore price dipped 0.7 per cent overnight to US$64.54, while its futures eye a fall of 0.1 per cent. Rio (ASX:RIO) slipped 3 per cent lower and BHP (ASX:BHP) followed.

Lithium play, Orocobre (ASX:ORE) also saw some profit taking today, after it gained over 5 per cent yesterday amid record production and sales.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 0.52 per cent or 32 points higher at 6,210.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a gain of 19 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 30 point rise.

Value of trades

$5.3 billion on volume of 682 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP) and Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO).

Economic news

Interest rates remained on hold at 1.5 per cent as expected. The RBA noted, The Australian economy grew by 3.1 per cent over the year, in line with the Central Bank’s view. The RBA says, ‘Business conditions are positive and non-mining business investment is continuing to increase’.

The RBA did however say, ‘one continuing source of uncertainty is the outlook for household consumption. Household income has been growing slowly and debt levels are high'. Just one of the reason rates remained on hold. 

Building permits fell in May by 3.2 per cent, which surprised economists, who expected permits would rise 1 per cent. It comes as seasonally adjusted private sector housing approvals slumped 8.6 per cent. In trend terms, the value of total building approvals fell for the seventh month, a sign the property market has cooled its heels.

Company news

Tabcorp (ASX:TAH) has increased its stake in fellow gambling company, Jumbo Interactive (ASX:JIN), to 12.5 per cent (holding about 7.2 million Jumbo shares). It comes as the gambling giant snapped up 3.5 million Jumbo shares at $2.37, by exercising an option, while it also sold about 2.9 million of its shares in Jumbo, to institutional investors. Tabcorp has no intention to sell any further shares as its investment is ‘strategically important’. Shares in Tabcorp (ASX:TAH) closed 2 per cent higher at $4.58. While shares in Shares in Jumbo Interactive (ASX:JIN) closed 6.44 per cent lower at $4.65.

InvoCare (ASX:IVC) inked a deal to buy Lester & Son, an Albury-Wodonga based funeral and cremation services business which makes about $3.5 million per annum in revenue.

Orion Health Group (ASX:OHE) has seen a massive rally its in shares gaining about 54 per cent, after it announced ‘Hg’ will make a $255 million transactional injection into the company, buying the majority of its health Rhapsody and Population Health Business.

Synalit Milk (ASX:SM1) extended its supply deal with a2 Milk Company’s (ASX:A2M) infant formulae business. The company granted a2 Milk with a two-year extension, granting a new minimum term of five years, through to 31 July 2023. Shares in Synalit Milk (ASX:SM1) rose by 2.4 per cent while shares in a2 Milk Company’s (ASX:A2M) sweetened up by 3.4 per cent.

Sonic Healthcare (ASX:SHL) purchased one of the largest anatomical pathology practices in Germany, Pathologie Trier, which has annual revenues of € 20 million and employs 160 staff.

Domain Holdings (ASX:DHG) appointed Jason Pellegrino as CEO and Managing Director from 27 August 2018, who has been the MD of Google Australia and NZ.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was telcos adding 2.14 per cent while the worst performing sector was materials, shedding 1.4 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Beach Energy Limited (ASX:BPT), rising 5.68 per cent to close at $1.86. Shares in Seven West Media Limited (ASX:SWM) and G8 Education Limited (ASX:GEM) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Iluka Resources Limited (ASX:ILU), dropping 4.03 per cent to close at $0.00. Shares in Western Areas Limited (ASX:WSA) and Costa Group Holdings Limited (ASX:CGC) followed lower.

Asian markets 

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 2.2 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.23 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,241 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.09 lower at $US74.06 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 73.73 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Some of the most traded cryptpos are trading higher: Bitcoin trades 5 per cent up at US$6,635, Ethereum is about 7 per cent higher at US$480 and EOS has rallied 14 per cent higher to US$9.11.