New 10-year high: Aus shares close 0.5% higher

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market a new 10 year high today, its third 10 year this financial year.

Over half of the sectors made a profit today, the Consumer Discretionary sector leading the rally after it rose 1.7 per cent with Crown Resorts (ASX:CWN) shining on their results, and Star Entertainment (ASX:SGR) following higher in the hype.

Financials also boded well today with Suncorp (ASX:SUN) rising the most out of the big financial players, rising 4.8 per cent after their results beat market expectations.

And in the small caps, Change Financial (ASX:CCA) did well today after it gained 4.8 per cent. Materials rose the least among the gainers, after the iron price rose 0.5 per cent to US$69.78 and its futures are pointing to a gain of 0.1 per cent.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index finsihed 29 points higher, or 0.5 per cent higher, to finish at 6,298.

Futures

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 10 points.
S&P500 futures are suggesting a rise of 2.3 points.
Nasdaq futures are suggesting a rise of 3.8 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 41 point gain.

Value of trades

$5.6 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), Insurance Australia Group (ASX:IAG) and Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO).

Company news

Leading medical cannabis company, AusCann (ASX:AC8) which is aiming to produce cannabis pharmaceutical products next year raised $1.9 million through a share purchase plan after raising $33.4 million with institutions. It plans to use the proceeds for clinical studies, expanding its Australian manufacturing and establishing manufacturing in Chile. Shares in AusCann Group Holdings (ASX:AC8) closed flat at $0.96.

Suncorp (ASX:SUN) advised its net profit after tax slipped 1.5 per cent on the 2017 financial, with its profit hitting $1.06 billion in FY18. It also declared a fully franked special dividend of 8 cents per share (cps) and total ordinary dividends of 73 cps full franked. Suncorp also confirmed its key FY19 financial target of achieving a 10 per cent return on equity (ROE). The market seems to like their results, with the likes of UBS saying that Suncorp beat their estimates by 2 per cent.

Magellan Financial Group (ASX:MFG) released their full year results. Highlights include average funds under management up 29 per cent to $59.0 billion compared to results up to June last year. Management and services fee revenue is up 26 per cent to $385.8 million.

AGL Energy (ASX:AGL) underlying profit after tax rose 28 per cent to $1 billion in the 2018 financial year.

Crown Resorts (ASX:CWN) was one of the best performers today among the Consumer Discretionary stocks today. Its net profit after tax (normalised) rose 14 per cent for the year to June 2018, compared to the prior corresponding year, hitting $386 million, while its revenue rose 4.5 per cent.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Consumer Discretionary, adding 1.7 per cent while the worst performing sector was Utilities, shedding 1.8 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Magellan Financial Group (ASX:MFG), rising 14.3 per cent to close at $27.60. Shares in Crown Resorts (ASX:CWN) and Sigma Healthcare (ASX:SIG) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Bellamy’s Australia (ASX:BAL), dropping 5.1 per cent to close at $9.78. Shares in Eclipx Group (ASX:ECX) and AGL Energy (ASX:AGL) followed lower.

Asian markets

Mixed. Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 1.2 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 2 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,216 an ounce.
Light crude is $2.39 lower at $US66.78 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 74.43 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Some of the most traded cryptocurrencies are trading lower. Bitcoin has fallen 2.5 per cent to US$6,385, Ethereum has fallen about 2.6 per cent to US$364 and EOS has fallen about 4.3 per cent to US$5.79.