Asian markets rise on proposed tax reform: ASX closes flat

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market ended the day flat today. At the weekend China's government published a draft of new tax cuts hoping to help overhaul income tax and to spur growth. Asian markets saw a rise in response. Shanghai Composite gained 4.6 per cent after some earlier lows. Lithium producer Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS), saw a rise to end the day over five percent higher. Travel company Flight Centre (ASX:FLT) saw a drop today though. As for the sectors, Real Estate was the only sector to perform above the rest of the market today. The worst performing sector was consumer discretionary. At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 35 points lower, or 0.6 per cent lower to finish at 5,905.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 24 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 3 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing lift of 21 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 35 point fall tomorrow

Company news

The Federal Court of Australia has today made orders approving the proposed scheme of arrangement under which property company Charter Hall (ASX:CHC) will acquire 100 per cent of the ordinary shares in real estate funds manager Folkestone (ASX:FLK). Folkestone expects to lodge a copy of the Court's orders with ASIC tomorrow - 23 October 2018, at which point the Scheme will become legally effective. If this occurs, Folkestone will apply for its shares to be suspended from trading with effect from close of trading on tomorrow. Shares in Charter Hall (ASX:CHC) closed 1.1 per cent higher to $7.11

WorleyParsons (ASX:WOR) has acquired US based construction services company Jacobs energy, chemicals and resources division for an enterprise value of US$3.3 billion. The professional services company says the deal will be partly funded by a A$2.9 billion entitlement offer and the issuance of A$985 million in WorleyParsons stock to Jacobs.

Virgin Australia (ASX:VAH) has beaten its quarterly guidance with revenue increasing by 9.7 per cent when compared to the first quarter of last year. They had expected a 7 per cent increase. Underlying profit before tax for the first half of the 2019 year is expected to be at least $100 million which is a 22 per cent increase on the previous first half.

Shopping Centres Australasia Property Group (ASX:SCP) has announced plans for shareholders to take part in a $50 million purchase plan. Eligible shareholders have the opportunity to apply for $5,000, $10,000 or $15,000 of new ordinary shares without incurring brokerage. The proceeds will be put towards its purchase of 10-convenience shopping centres for $573 million.

Event Hospitality and Entertainment (ASX:EVT) which runs EVENT cinemas and the Thredbo Alpine Resort, have inked a sales agreement to sell its German cinema business CineStar for $358 million, to Vue International.

IPOs

STG Straker translations (ASX:STG) started trading today. It floated with an issue price of $1.51, opened at $1.75 and it closed at $1.71.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Real Estate adding 0.2 per cent while the worst performing sector was consumer discretionary, shedding 1.7 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS), rising 5.1 per cent to close at $0.83. Shares in Western Areas (ASX:WSA) and Vocus Group (ASX:VOC) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Flight Centre Travel Group (ASX:FLT), dropping 10 per cent to close at $46.08. Shares in Linus Corp (ASX:LYC) and Wisetech Global (ASX:WTC) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.4 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 2.4 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 4.6 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,228 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 0.4 per cent to US$73.28. Its futures are pointing to a rise of 1.6 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.57 up at US$69.28 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.11 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Some of the most traded cryptocurrencies are trading lower Bitcoin has fallen 0.1 per cent to US$6503, Ethereum has fallen 0.5 per cent to US$206 and EOS has fallen about 0.3 per cent to US$5.44, in the last 24 hours.