Clawing back ground: Aus shares close 0.6% higher

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market clawed back some of yesterday’s loses after it mustered up 0.6 per cent. It comes as over half of the sectors made a profit today, with Consumer Discretionary stocks charging up 1.8 per cent and miners following after lead rallied to a six-week high, and gold rose to its highest level in 2.5 months.

Aristocrat Leisure (ASX:ALL) collected a gain of over 4 per cent, while among the miners, gold play Saracen Minerals (ASX:SAR) charged up 5.2 per cent.

Healthcare stocks closed lower, despite cannabis companies rallying ahead of Canada legalising recreational marijuana.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 33 points higher, or 0.56 per cent up, to finish at 5,870.

Futures market

Dow futures are eyeing a lift of 66 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 10 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing an lift of 40 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 44 point rise tomorrow morning.

Economic news

Personal finance/borrowing fell by 1 per cent from July to August, while housing finance fell 0.2 per cent over the same period (in trend terms).

Company news

National Australia Bank (ASX:NAB) announced a $314 million dent in its profit on the back of its customer compensation. This will reduce its second half 2018 cash earnings by $261 million and earnings from discontinued operations by an estimated $53 million. Citi has the stock as a buy, with the big four bank trading back where it was late 2016. Citi has the stock as a buy with the price target of $32.25. National Australia Bank (ASX:NAB) closed 0.6 per cent higher at $25.64.

Propertylink Group (ASX:PLG) received a beefed up deal from ESR Real Estate, with the Asian firm increasing its takeover offer by $723 million, up from $693 million, after it bumped up its offer from $1.15 cash per share to $0.20 per cent. Meantime, Propertylink says it has decided not to proceed over Centuria’s Industrial REIT (ASX:CIP) takeover after CIP reject the offer.

Heavy earthmoving equipment company, Emeco Holdings (ASX:EHL) shares have been upgraded to a buy by Goldman Sachs, with the leading bank initiating coverage of the company with a price target of $0.47. In September Emeco made its way to the top 200 and in August the company announced a return to profitability for the first time since FY13.

Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) has seen a drop in their Pilbara iron ore shipments in their third quarter, with 81.9 million tonnes, five per cent lower than the same time last year.

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX:URW) inked a deal to sell Tour Ariane in La Défense for €464.9 million, a profit on its last book value. The transaction is part of its €3 billion European sale program over the next several years.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best-performing sector was Consumer Discretionary, adding 1.81 per cent, while the worst-performing sector was Telcos, shedding 0.4 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Washington H Soul Pattinson & Company Limited (ASX:SOL), rising 5.5 per cent to close at $27.56. Shares in Elders (ASX:ELD) and Saracen Mineral Holdings Limited (ASX:SAR) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was IPH Limited  (ASX:IPH),  dropping 2.96 per cent to close at $5.57. Shares in Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR)  and Sigma Healthcare Limited  (ASX:SIG) followed lower.

Asian markets

Mixed. Japan’s Nikkei has gained 0.44 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has fallen 0.17 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has fallen 0.2 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,226 an ounce.
The iron ore price is steady at US$71.66.
Iron ore futures are 0.4 per cent lower.
Light crude is US$0.37 lower at US$71.55 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.23 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin has gained 2.68 per cent to US$6,585, Ethereum has gained 2.4 per cent to US$208 and XRP has gained 6.5 per cent to US$0.45, in the last 24 hours.