Information technology sector leads the rally: ASX closed 1.4% higher

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market bounced 1.4 per cent higher, continuing its rally for the second day, but it still wasn’t enough to recoup the losses made on Monday, after the XJO lost 2.3 per cent on the 10th December. We saw most of the sectors make a profit today with the smaller Information Technology sector leading the rally, rising 2.6 per cent, while Financials and Energy led the larger sectors higher after rising 2 per cent each.  At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 78 points higher to finish at 5654 points.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 128 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 12 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing lift of 39 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 40 point rise tomorrow.

Company news

The Citadel Group (ASX:CGL) has completed the purchase of the government business, Gruden from IncenitaPay (ASX:INP). Gruden supports technology and software for the Federal Government, Victorian Government and New South Wales Government, providing them with systems like ‘grants management’ and online procurement platforms. The Citadel Group (ASX:CGL) shares closed 1.2 per cent higher $7.56. While IncenitaPay (ASX:INP) shares closed 4 per cent higher at $0.03.

New Zealand's largest e-commerce company Trade Me (ASX:TME) has entered into a scheme of arrangement with British private equity firm Apax Partners, after a bidding war between Apax and an American rival Hellman & Friedman. The board accepted a $2.4 billion bid from Apax. They agreed to acquire 100 per cent of Trade Me shares for NZ$6.45 per share, which represents a 27 per cent premium on last month's average share prices.

Mayne Pharma Group (ASX:MYX) has received FDA approval for its Tolsura treatment for certain systemic fungal infections in adult patients. They plan to launch January 2019. (The US anti-fungal triazole market has a current value of US$600 million.)

Sonic Healthcare (ASX:SHL) is set in acquire US pathology services company, Aurora Diagnostics for US$540 million. The acquisition will be funded by a $600 million fully underwritten institutional placement as well as a fully underwritten bridge facility.

IPOs

HeraMED (ASX:HMD) started trading today. It’s a development, manufacturer and distributor of foetal heart beat monitors and other pregnancy-related devices. It floated with an issue price of $0.20, opened at $0.20 and it closed at $0.18.

Best and worst performers 

The best performing sector Energy adding 2 per cent while the worst performing sector was Telco Services, shedding 0.5 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Speedcast International Limited (ASX:SDA), rising 7.8 per cent to close at $3.60. Shares in Mayne Pharma Group Limited (ASX:MYX) and Galaxy Resources Limited (ASX:GXY) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was St Barbara Limited (ASX:SBM),dropping 3.7 per cent to close at $4.47. Shares in Regis Resources Limited (ASX:RRL) and Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has added 2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 1.5 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.2 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,245 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 0.2 per cent at $65.97 and its futures are pointing to a rise of 0.63 per cent
Light crude is $0.96 up at $US51.96 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 72.13 US cents.