Third day of gains: Aus shares close 0.1% higher

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australia share market managed to ink its third day of gains, despite trading lower earlier in the session.

It comes after the Energy sector clawed back some its earlier losses, finishing almost flat, recovering from its 1 per cent fall after oil sank 3 per cent earlier, to below US$70.00 after a rise in US stockpiles.

Telcos, made a gain of over 2 per cent and the smaller information technology sector gained about 1 per cent after Afterpay (ASX:APT) somewhat recovered and Property followed higher.  Meantime, Materials stayed in loss territory, recouping some of their earlier falls

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 0.06 per cent higher or 3 points higher at 5,942.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 79 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 11 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing fall of 33 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 5 point fall tomorrow morning

Economic news

Trend unemployment remained at a six-year low, according to the ABS (5.2 per cent), while the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 5 per cent, down from the previous 5.3 per cent and also beating market consensus it would remain at that level.

Company news

The a2 Milk Company Limited (ASX:A2M) saw some selling with Macquarie Bank (ASX:MQG) selling down their major holding in the company. It comes just a day after the company announced its branded milk now has over 10 per cent market share in Australian and New Zealand brand, while its China infant formula consumption rose to almost 5.6 per cent. Shares in The A2 Milk Company Limited (ASX:A2M) closed 2 per cent lower at $9.60

The buy-now-pay later company, Afterpay Touch Group (ASX:APT) says it welcomes the opportunity to participate in any review, saying it has a customer-centric service, highly differentiated from other operators. It comes after the corporate regulator expanded its intervention into buy-now pay later providers Afterpay shares lost about 19 per cent on Wednesday, falling to $11.35. after the But its shares gained 14.1 per cent today, closing at $12.95 level.

Debt buying company, Credit Corp Group (ASX:CCP) has seen a rally today, propelling its shares to one of the best performing posts. Its shars closed 6 per cent higher.

An Australasian insurance broking network, Steadfast Group (ASX:SDF) says it’s seeing better than expected first quarter organic growth and has upgraded its FY19 earnings (EBITDA) guidance to between $190 million to $200 million and its underlying profit (NPAT) to be range between $85 million and $90 million.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Telco Services adding 2.5 per cent while the worst performing sector was Health Care , shedding 1.5 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Afterpay Touch Group Limited (ASX:APT), rising 14 per cent to close at $12.95. Shares in Steadfast Group Limited (ASX:SDF) and Credit Corp Group Limited (ASX:CCP) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Bellamy's Australia Limited (ASX:BAL), dropping 7.5 per cent to close at $8.49. Shares in Orocobre (ASX:ORE) and Galaxy Resources Limited (ASX:GXY) followed lower, (with the lithium resource company announcing its mining volumes at its Mt Cattlin mine fell in the September quarter by 8 per cent

Asian markets

Lower: Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.8 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.4 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 2.1 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,223 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 2.6 per cent to US$73.36. Its futures are pointing to a rise of 1. per cent. Light crude is US$1.70 lower US$70.01 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.28 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin has fallen 0.4 per cent to US$6,561, Ethereum has dropped about 1.1 per cent to US$208,