The Australian share market hit a two-week high today, with our smaller Info Tech sector rising almost 3 per cent, while Materials (miners) led the major sectors higher after it rose over 1 per cent, with the lithium players trying to claw back from their losses after the lithium price has been under pressure. While BHP (ASX:BHP), UBS’ mining favourite, rose 1.2 per cent.
Just three sector lagged behind today, while Ooh!Media (ASX:OML) saw some profit-taking, losing 1.6 per cent after gaining over 6.7 per cent yesterday, while Aristocrat Leisure (ASX:ALL) lost 2.6 per cent continuing to fall from its all-time high that it hit late July.
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 33 points higher, or 0.6 per cent higher to finish at 5,758. We are about 9.2 per cent (or 587 points) off our 10-year high that the market hit on 30 August 2018.
From the get-go, we had positive leads to follow after US equities made their biggest rally in eight months on the Fed Chair (Jerome Powell) signalling rates are ‘neutral for the economy, that’s neither speeding up nor slowing down growth’, a big change from his stance two months ago. Tech stocks rose the most on Wall Street with the Nasdaq up 3 per cent.
Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 16 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 3 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing fall of 9 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 43-point rise tomorrow morning
Most traded stocks
The top three stocks by value were BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) and Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO).
Private new capital expenditure fell 0.5 per cent in September, disappointing the market, as the consensus was that we would see a rise of 1 per cent in expenditure for the quarter.
Mayne Pharma (ASX:MYX) advised at its AGM today, its largest and most successful product, Dofetilide, a heart medication, has been impacted as expected by the approval of four new competitors. However, its sales have fallen 65 per cent in the first four months of the financial year, (compared to the prior corresponding period), with sales falling to $7 million, on the back of a loss of market share and price pressure. At the same time, the board approved an increase of the maximum annual pays. Its shares have seen their biggest drop in three months, with MYX falling 4.3 per cent to $0.99.
The ACCC advised its concerned about Bingo's (ASX:BIN) proposed purchase of Dial-a-Dump, with the ACCC saying post the acquisition Bingo would be the largest building and demolition (B&D) waste collector and processor and own a major amount of dry landfill capacity in Sydney.
Automotive aftermarket part business Bapcor (ASX:BAP) inked a deal to buy a Japanese truck spare parts group (a group of five companies) for $15 million. The deal will be funded by issuing new shares and is expected to be completed in early December 2018. The earnings from the newly purchased group are expected exceed the full year earnings of the TRS Tyre and Wheel business, which Bapcor sold earlier this year (1 July 2018). Year-on-year its shares are trading 4.2 per cent higher.
Bell Potter upgraded its 12-month price target (PT) for Afterpay (ASX:APT) from $21.59 to $23.63 citing that customer growth in the US has overtaken Australian and NZ growth. The buy now pay later is set to add 140,000 new customers in November, double what it added it October. Shares in the sector have fallen in line with many brokers expectations and ASIC's new intervention has been flagged as being positive.
Gold and base metals explorer in Western Australia, Norwest Minerals (ASX:NWM) was welcomed to the ASX today. It issued shares at $0.20, opened at $0.20 and closed $0.18. For an interview with the CEO check out our website.
Best and worst performers of the day
The best performing sector was Materials adding 1.3 per cent while the worst performing sector was Utilities, shedding 0.5 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Afterpay Touch Group (ASX:APT), rising 8.7 per cent to close at $13.87. Shares in Altium (ASX:ALU) and Wisetech Global (ASX:WTC) followed higher.
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Bingo Industries (ASX:BIN), dropping 5.3 per cent to close at $2.15. Shares in Mayne Pharma Group (ASX:MYX) and Bellamy’s Australia (ASX:BAL) followed lower.
Mixed: Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.7 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.02 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.1 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,226 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 1.8 per cent to US$66.35 a tonne and its futures are pointing to a rise of 1.1 per cent.
Light crude is $1.25 lower at $US50.31 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 73.16 US cents.
Bitcoin is up by 5.1 per cent to US$4,208, Ethereum has gained 4.4 per cent to US$120 and EOS has lost 0.8 per cent to US$3.13.