Citi downgrades Wesfarmers: Aus shares close 0.44% higher

Market Reports

by Katrina Bullock

It has been a positive day of trade for the Australian share market. After opening in the red, the local bourse managed to claw out of negative territory and maintained momentum to end on an 0.44 per cent gain. The majority of sectors made positive ground today with traders choosing to pick up banks ahead of the weekend. Financials led the gains followed by Consumer Staples and Utilities.

Broker moves

Citi downgraded Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) to a sell, with a 12-month price target of $29.20. This is a significant drop from its 12-month target of $45.30. This downgrade follows their demerger with Coles and an expected slowdown in the housing market which is predicted to decrease demand for Bunnings products and services.

Shares in Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) closed 1.8 per cent higher to $31.89.

The S&P/ASX 200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 25 points higher to finish at 5,716.

Over the week we have lost 0.3 per cent or shed 14 points.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 96 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 9 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a lift of 20 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 54 point lift on Monday morning.

Company news

FlexiGroup (ASX:FXL) have appointed Ms Isobel Rogerson as Group Company Secretary. Shares in FlexiGroup (ASX:FXL) closed 1 per cent higher at $1.50.

Telecommunications infrastructure company, Chorus (ASX:CNU), is set to issue NZ$500 million worth of ten year unsecured, unsubordinated, re-setting fixed rate bonds. The interest rate for the bonds for the first five year period has been set at 4.35 per cent per annum. The issue margin has been set at 1.8 per cent per annum. The interest rate for the second five year period will be determined as the issue margin plus the base rate at the reset date of December 2023. The bonds are expected to be issued on 6 December of this year and will mature on 6 December 2028. Shares in Chorus (ASX:CNU) closed 0.2 per cent lower at $4.64.

Australia's largest brick manufacturer Brickworks (ASX:BKW) has bought America's brickmaker Glen-Gery for $151 million. Glen-Gery is a 100 per cent owned subsidiary of UK based Ibstock.

Kathmandu Holdings (ASX:KMD) have released a trading update showing sales for the 11 full weeks to 11th November 2018 grew 8.4 per cent.

Australian Mines (ASX:AUZ) has changed the location of its corporate headquarters to Brisbane in Queensland, showing its commitment to developing its 100 per cent owned Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project in North Queensland.

Autosports Group (ASX:ASG) held their AGM today showing that they finished the year with approximately $1.7 billion in revenue and $60 million in EBITDA.

The board of the Inabox Group (ASX:IAB) have unanimously recommended that shareholders approve the improved offer from MNF Group (ASX:MNF) to purchase the company’s wholesale and enablement business, despite the offer Inabox received from the SB&G Consortium.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Financials adding 1.1 per cent while the worst performing sector was Telecommunications, shedding 1.2 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Costa Group Holdings (ASX:CGC) rising 5.5 per cent to close at $6.95. Shares in Sigma Healthcare (ASX:SIG) and IPH (ASX:IPH) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Technology One (ASX:TNE) dropping 7.1 per cent to close at $5.48. Shares in Automotive Holdings Group (ASX:AHG) and Orocobre (ASX:ORE) followed lower.

Asian markets

Lower:Japan’s Nikkei has lost 1.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.3 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 1.6 per cent.

Wall Street

Wrapped up the four trading days this week lower: The Dow Jones lost 3.9 per cent, the S&P 500 lost 3.3 per cent and the tech heavy Nasdaq lost 3.95 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US 1,228 an ounce.
The Iron ore price fell 0.5 per cent to US$72.18. Its futures are eyeing a fall of 2.8 per cent.
Light crude is 78 cents lower at US$53.85 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 72.50 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin has fallen 7.3 per cent to US$4,246. Ethereum has fallen 9.8 per cent to US$123 and EOS lost 7.4 per cent to US$3.53, in the last 24 hours.