James Hardie & oil tolls: Aus shares 0.1% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market hit a new 10-year high yesterday (its third this financial year), but the ASX200 lost some of its gains with reporting season weighing, and half of our sectors in the red, with energy falling the most after the US crude oil price hit a seven-week low. 

Meantime, the consumer discretionary sector is continuing to rally with Dominos (ASX:DMP), Kogan (ASX:KGN), JB Hi-Fi (ASX:JBH) leading the lift in their sector.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 7 points lower or 0.1 per cent lower at 6,291. On the futures market the SPI is 9 points lower.

Economic news

Personal finances fell 0.4 per cent and housing finance for owner-occupied fell 0.2 per cent in June, compared to May 2018 (trend terms).

Company news

The owner of 20 large retail centres around Australia, Aventus Retail Property Fund (ASX:AVN) announced its net profit for the year fell 15 per cent to $136 million, for the year ending 30 June 2018 after it increased its transaction and finance costs in expanding the business. Meantime, its revenue for FY18 rose 26 per cent to $165 million after it purchased the Castle Hill Super Centre and Marsden Park Home (centre) in NSW, which added over $30 million in revenue to the group’s total result. Shares in Aventus Retail Property Fund (ASX:AVN) are trading 0.5 per cent lower at $2.23.

Industrial building materials company, James Hardie Industries (ASX:JHX) announced its net operating profit for the full 2019 financial year should be between US$300 million and US$340 million, but cautioned that although US housing activity has been improving, conditions are somewhat uncertain. It also noted some analysts are expecting a net profit (excluding asbestos) for the year ending 31 March 2019, to be higher, ($US313 million to US$358 million). Nevertheless, all metrics for the quarter ending 30 June 2018, rose compared to the same time last year, with its net profit (attributable to shareholders) jumping almost 60 per cent to US$91 million. Its net sales from ordinary activities rose 28 per cent (compared to the same time last year), hitting US$651 million and its earnings (EBIT) rose 21 per cent (compared to the prior corresponding period (pcp)). Shares in James Hardie Industries (ASX:JHX) are trading 7.6 per cent lower at $21.45

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is S&P/ASX Health Care adding 0.5 per cent, while the worst performing sector is S&P/ASX Energy, gaining 1.4 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Metcash Limited (ASX:MTS), rising 4 per cent to $2.73, followed by shares in Infigen Energy (ASX:IFN) and Domino's Pizza Enterprises Limited (ASX:DMP).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is James Hardie Industries Plc (ASX:JHX), dropping 7.6 per cent to $21.45, followed by shares in Appen Limited (ASX:APX) and Sims Metal Management (ASX:SGM).

Asian markets

Mixed: Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.6 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.02 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.2 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,213 an ounce.
Iron ore price remained unchanged overnight at US$69.78 (but the price is at a one-month high)
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.8 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 73.74 US cents.


Some of the most traded cryptocurrencies are trading higher. Bitcoin has gained 3 per cent to US$6,556, Ethereum added about 1 per cent to US$364 and EOS has gained about 2 per cent to US$5.77.