Aluminium price lifts AWC to 10-year high: Aus shares close 0.5% higher

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market continuing its two-day bounce back thanks to the US crude price rising to a 4-year high, fuelling the Energy sector, while miners/Materials also boded well after the aluminium prices hit a-3 month high after Norsk Hydro announced it would shut down the Alunorte alumina refinery.

That saw Alumina Limited (ASX:AWC) shares rise to a 10-year high, rising 10.75 per cent.

The S&P/ASX200 closed 30 points or 0.5 per cent higher at 6,176.

Futures

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 130 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 16 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing fall of 50 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 23 point rise tomorrow morning.

Most traded stocks

The top three stocks by value were BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP), South32 (ASX:S32) and Alumina (ASX:AWC).

Economic news

Australia’s international trade data in August beat expectations, with the national balance of trade hitting $1.6 billion, beating the $1.4 billion surplus expected (seasonally adjusted terms). It was also a 4 per cent improvement from July’s surplus.

Company news

The Bank of Queensland (ASX:BOQ) announced its net profit fell 5 per cent to $336 million in FY18, while its cash earnings fell 2 per cent (to $372 million), compared to FY17. Meantime its net interest margin bolstered. The bank was downgraded by UBS to a sell, on the back of 6 per cent miss versus consensus. It closed 2.2 per cent higher at $11.01.

Magellan Financial Group Limited (ASX:MFG) shares rose 7.8 per cent after it announced Dr Brett Cairns has been appointed as CEO and Hamish Douglas will assume the Chairman position. Hamish, one of the founders, will also keep his role as Chief Investment Officer and lead Portfolio Manager of its global equities team. It funds under management grew $86 million in September.

BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) released a statement referring to media reports about an agreement with the State Prosecutor of Mariana in Brazil in relation to compensation for the impacts of the Samarco dam failure in 2015.

SCA Property Group (ASX:SCP), a major landlord of the Woolworths Group, has successfully completed the fully underwritten institutional placement announced yesterday raising $262.4 million.The proceeds will be partly fund the acquisition of 10 shopping centres from Vicinity for $573 million.

Pact Group Holdings (ASX:PGH) was downgraded to a neutral from a buy position by Goldman Sachs, and the stock is being sold down today, and its shares lost 8 per cent.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Energy adding 1.17 per cent while the worst performing sector was Industrials, shedding 0.64 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Alumina (ASX:AWC), rising 10.75 per cent to close at $3.09. Shares in Magellan Financial Group (ASX:MFG) and South32 (ASX:S32) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Pact Group Holdings (ASX:PGH), dropping 8.00 per cent to close at $3.45. Shares in Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR) and The A2 Milk Company (ASX:A2M) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.6 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 1.9 per cent and the Shanghai Composite is not trading due to a public holiday in China.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,197 an ounce.
Iron ore price last traded at US$69.24 .
Light crude is US$0.99 up at US$76.22 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 70.82 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin has gained 1.7 per cent to US$6,586 and Ethereum has added 2.3 per cent to US$225.