Back in the black: Aus shares close 0.14% higher

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market returned to positive territory after its two-day nosedive on Monday and Tuesday on the back of local acquisition talks propping up sentiment. Over half of the sectors made a profit today with Consumer Discretionary and Health Stocks rising the most 2 and 1.5 per cent. Also helping the recovery, the rise in the Australian dollar the lift in the iron ore price. 

Broker moves

Flight Centre (ASX:FLT) rose 3.2 per cent after being upgraded to a neutral, from a sell position by Citi as the investment bank says oil prices in AUD terms are likely to rise by 40 per cent year-on-year in FY19 and the scale of this should move through to airfares and earnings. Its 12-month price target is $57.00

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 9 points higher, or 0.14 per cent higher, to finish at 6050.

Futures market

Dow futures are eyeing a fall of 13 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a fall of 1 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a rise of 3 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 51 point fall tomorrow morning.

Economic news

Total construction work done in the June quarter rose 0.9 per cent, but it fell slightly over the year by 0.1 per cent in seasonably adjust terms.

Company news

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s (ASX:CBA) investment management arm, Colonial First State Investment, has had a class action served on it for its cash and deposit options in certain funds. The action was brought down by Slater and Gordon in the Federal Court of Australia which CBA and CFSIL will vigorously defend. Shares in Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) closed 0.32 per cent higher at $68.97.

Navitas (ASX:NVT) shares popped 22 per cent higher to a level they were at back in January this year, on the back receiving a takeover offer from AustralianSuper, BGH and Rodney Jones for $2 billion at $5.50 per share (potentially taking the firm private). That's a 26 per cent premium to its close price on 9 October 2018.

Centuria Capital Group (ASX:CNI) announced its Centuria Metropolitan REIT (ASX:CMA) and the Lederer Group inked a deal to buy the $645 million Hines portfolio of four ‘high quality’ office assets, which will increase Centuria Capital Group’s assets under management by 12 per cent to $5.5 billion. As a result, it increased its FY19 distribution guidance by 13 per cent and increased its operating earnings by 7 per cent. It will also kick off a $100 million capital raise a $1.30 and also start a bond issuance raising $75 million.

Centuria Metropolitan REIT (ASX:CMA) plans to buy three of the assets818 Bourke Street, Melbourne, 825 Ann Street and 100 Brookes Street in Brisbane and a 25 per cent interest in 465 Victoria Avenue in Sydney for $501 million. CMA will undertake a $276 million equity raise.

Greencross (ASX:GXL) responded to media speculation about a potential takeover by a private equity firm, saying it is engaging with a number of parties regarding what it’s calling ‘credible proposals’. The proposals are non-binding and incomplete and confidential, and there is no certainty of a proposal or if the board will make a recommendation.

Best and worst performers of the day

The sector with the fewest losses was Consumer Discretionary, adding 2.12 per cent, while the worst performing sector was Utilities, shedding 1.34 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Navitas (ASX:NVT), rising 22 per cent to close at $5.30. Shares in Domino's Pizza Enterprises Limited (ASX:DMP) and Corporate Travel Management Limited (ASX:CTD) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Orocobre Limited (ASX:ORE), dropping 5.54 per cent to close at $3.92. Shares in Lynas Corporation Limited (ASX:LYC) and Syrah Resources Limited (ASX:SYR) followed lower.

Asian markets

Mixed. Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has risen 0.5 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.2 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,191 an ounce.
The iron ore price is 2.5 per cent higher at US$71.14.
Iron ore futures are 1.8 per cent higher.
Light crude is US$0.36 higher at US$74.53 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.29 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin has fallen 1.01 per cent to US$6,583, Ethereum has fallen 1.7 per cent to US$226 and EOS has lost 1.4 per cent to US$5.84, in the last 24 hours.