Banks and miners advance: Aus shares close 0.5 per cent higher

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

It has been a positive day of trade for the Australian share market which closed half a per cent higher - its third advance in the last four sessions, pushed higher by the major banks and major mining stocks. BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) was leading the market for a while followed by Westpac (ASX:WBC), Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) and ANZ (ASX:ANZ). TPG Telecom (ASX:TPM) is down. At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 29 points up, or 0.5 per cent higher to finish at 6190.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 16 points.
S&P 500 futures are flat.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing lift of 5 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 15 point fall tomorrow

Company news

Experience Co (ASX:EXP) has added further clarification to their skydiving jump figures to help in the analysis of the financial year 2018 results and 2019 guidance. The fall in jumps was due to a combination of factors, including the decline in bookings as a result of an accident at Mission Beach and the adverse rain effect. Financial Year 2018 revenue from skydiving was up slightly compared to 2017, due to the 3 per cent increase in average revenue per jump, including photography products. The company has forecast a fall in the number of jumps and revenue of around 4 per cent in FY19. Shares in Experience Co (ASX:EXP) shares closed flat at $0.37

Property group Dexus (ASX:DXS) today announced that it has exchanged contracts to acquire 60 Collins Street, Melbourne, for $160 million. And they have also entered into an agreement to buy the adjoining property at 52 Collins Street for $70 million. Dexus proposes to consolidate the two sites for a Prime grade office development. The acquisitions will be funded through existing debt facilities and will not impact Dexus’s FY19 guidance for distribution per security growth of circa 5 per cent. Shares in Dexus (ASX:DXS) closed 0.4 per cent lower to $10.86

Zenitas Healthcare (ASX:ZNT) has entered into binding agreements to acquire three separate businesses. The largest proposed acquisition is Accommodation and Care Solutions with a purchase price of $60 million. They are currently in the midst of a takeover scheme.

Origin Energy (ASX:ORG) has signed a new gas sales agreement with the Casino Henry joint venture. The agreement provides for gas supply from the JV to Origin from the 1st of January next year for a year at current market prices.

Funeral company Invocare (ASX:IVC) today announced the purchase of Harrison Funerals. They generate revenue of around $1 million per annum and has been serving families in Ballarat, Victoria since 2005.

Best and worst performers 

The best performing sector was Materials adding 2.1 per cent while the worst performing sector was Telcos, shedding 1.5 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Independence Group (ASX:IGO), rising 5.7 per cent to close at $4.49. Shares in Sandfire (ASX:SFR) and Costa Group Holdings (ASX:CGC) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was TPG Telecom (ASX:TPM), dropping 5.4 per cent to close at $8.25. Shares in Estia Health (ASX:EHE) and BWP Trust (ASX:BWP) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has added 1.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 1.4 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 1.5 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,203 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 2.5 per cent to US$69.82. Its futures are pointing to a rise of 0.6 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.77 up at US$69.45 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 72.47 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Some of the most traded cryptocurrencies are trading higher: Bitcoin has gained 1.2 per cent to US$6363, Ethereum has gained 7.1 per cent to US$212 and XRP gained 21 per cent to $0.33.