Whitehaven, Afterpay cash in: Aus shares close 0.76% higher

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian rallied at the open, despite Wall Street dropping on the back of the Turkish lira plummeting 14 per cent, hitting a record low. The ASX200 made most of its gains before noon, on the back of better than expected reporting season, with most of the sectors trading higher and holding onto most of their gains.

About six sectors made gains of about 1 per cent or more, with Telcos, Financials and Utilities gaining after Morgans Stockbroking re-initiated coverage of AGL (ASX:AGL) and maintained the stock as a hold and AGL gained 1.8 per cent today.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 47 points higher, or 0.8 per cent higher to finish at 6,300, back at a fresh 10-year high. 

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 57 points.
S&P futures are suggesting a rise of 7 points.
Nasdaq futures are suggesting a rise of 27 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 43 point rise.

Value of trades

$6.7 billion on volume of 735 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Westpac (ASX:WBC), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) and BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP).

Company news

A leading provider of salary packaging and novated leasing services, McMillan Shakespeare (ASX:MMS) has been served with a class action in the Federal Court of Australia, on allegations that the company that it purchased, National Warranty Company (Davantage Group) had warranties that were void, and the applicants are seeking restitution or a refund. (Allegations relate to a period from 1 July 2013 to 28 May 2015). Shares in McMillan Shakespeare (ASX:MMS) closed 1.6 per cent higher at $15.55.

Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) has posted a record net profit after tax (NPAT) of $525.6 million for the 2018 financial year, a rise of about 29 per cent on FY17.

iSelect (ASX:ISU) has reported a net loss after tax of $13.5 million for the 2018 financial year and a 2 per cent drop in its revenue in the 2018 financial year.

Fleet management and leasing company, SG Fleet Group (ASX:SGF) announced its net profit after (NPAT) tax climbed about 14 per cent on the 2017 financial year, to $68 million in FY18, on the back of its products and service growth, coupled with a bigger contribution from its UK and NZ businesses. It also scaled up its total dividends by almost 12 per cent.

Domino’s Pizza (ASX:DMP) has reported its net profit after tax (NPAT) rose over 18 per cent on FY17 to $121.5 million for the 2018 financial year, while revenue lifted about 8 per cent on FY17 to $1.15 billion.

Investment Management firm, Challenger (ASX:CGF) has reported its statutory net profit after tax (NPAT) dropped about 19 per cent on FY17 to $323 million in the 2018 financial year.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Telco Services, adding 1.6 per cent, while the worst performing sector was Healthcare, shedding 0.2 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Afterpay Touch Group (ASX:APT), rising 5.8 per cent to close at $15.10. Shares in JB Hi-Fi (ASX:JBH) and The A2 Milk Copany (ASX:A2M) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Challenger (ASX:CGF), dropping 6.9 per cent to close at $11.59. Shares in Domino’s Pizza Enterprises (ASX:DMP) and Magellan Financial Group (ASX:MFG) followed lower.

Asian markets

Mixed. Japan’s Nikkei has added 2.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 1.2 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.5 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,196 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.22 lower at $US66.72 a barrel.
The Iron ore price fell 0.3 per cent to $68.51.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 0.6 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 72.73 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Lower. Bitcoin has fallen 6 per cent to US$6,009, Ethereum fallen about 17 per cent to US$266 and EOS has fallen about 14 per cent to US$4.34.