ASX 0.7% up for the week: Aus shares close 0.3% lower on Friday

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

Our share market ended higher for the week, despite losing 0.3 per cent on Friday, with S&P/ASX 200 index losing 19 points, finishing at 6,278. Over the week, it closed 44 points higher, or 0.7 per cent higher.

It comes as the Australian share market hit a new 10-year high yesterday (its third this financial year) amid reporting season, with Magellan (ASX:MFG) rising 14 per cent yesterday.

Today, only half of the sectors mustered up with Telcos and Healthcare rising the most, while Energy lagged after the US crude oil price hit a seven-week low.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 102 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 12 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing fall of 39 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 14 point fall Monday morning.

Value of trades

$4.9 billion on volume of 557 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 Woolworths Group (ASX:WOW).

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

Star Combo (ASX:S66) which makes vitamins, supplements and skincare products, is buying the Ausway Group of companies for $10 million. Ausway supplies and distributes vitamins and supplements in Australia and China and it’s Star Combo’s sixth largest client and makes a profit after tax of $1 million. Shares in Star Combo closed 2.1 per cent lower at $0.93.

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, (US$313 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. 

REA Group (ASX:REA) has reported its net profit rose 23 per cent to $280 million for the year ending 30 June 2018, while its revenue strengthened over the 2018 financial year, lifting 20 per cent to $808 million, while its final dividend rose 20 per cent. It all comes despite its financial services business notching earnings at the upper end of its previous guidance, on the back of tighter lending requirements.

The Baby Bunting Group (ASX:BBN) has revealed its net profit after tax for the financial year ending 24 June 2018 fell about 29 per cent to $8.7 million, compared to the prior corresponding period. Meantime, its total sales rose 9 per cent on last year’s results to $303 million.

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.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Telco Services adding 0.7 per cent while the worst performing sector was Energy, shedding 1.8 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was the A2 Milk Company (ASX:A2M), rising 4 per cent to close at $9.78. Shares in REA Group (ASX:REA) and Metcash (ASX:MTS) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was James Hardie Industries (ASX:JHX), dropping 6.6 per cent to close at $21.70. Shares in Sims Metal Management (ASX:SGM) and G8 Education (ASX:GEM) followed lower.

Asian markets

Lower. Japan’s Nikkei has lost 1.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 1 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.3 per cent.

Wall Street

Wrapped up the four trading days this week higher: The Dow Jones added 0.2 per cent, the S&P 500 added 0.5 per cent and the tech heavy Nasdaq gained 1 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,208 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.19 lower at $US65.35 barrel.
Iron ore is trading flat at $69.78.
Iron ore futures are suggesting a rise of 0.1 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 73.01 US cents.


Some of the most traded cryptocurrencies are trading mixed: Bitcoin has gained 1.7 per cent to US$6,467, Ethereum has fallen 0.6 per cent to US$362 and EOS has gained about 0.5 per cent to US$5.76, in the last 24 hours.

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