BHP weighs as it trades ex-dividend: ASX closes 0.3% higher

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market lost some of its momentum this afternoon but went on to close 0.3 per cent higher. BHP (ASX:BHP) weighed as it trades ex-dividend. All the four big banks are down. Costa Group (ASX:CGC) slid a massive 39 per cent on reports fruit sales are down. Treasury Wine Estates also slid. As for the sectors, REITS added but consumer staples shed almost 2 per cent. At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 17 points up to finish at 5,795

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 67 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 13 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing fall of 33 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 65 point rise for tomorrow morning

Company news

Food and beverage company Bellamy’s Australia (ASX:BAL) says that Camperdown Powder blending and canning line at Braeside in Victoria has received a licence extension from the General Administration of Customs China. The extension is to the 31st December 2019. Bellamy’s currently owns 90 per cent beneficial interest in Camperdown and will complete the acquisition of the remaining 10 per cent in Camperdown on obtaining SAMR approval of Bellamy’s Chinese labelled infant formula products. The customs China licence permits a facility to manufacture infant formula for export to China. Shares in Bellamy's Australia closed 2.3 per cent lower to $7.30.

Produce supplier Costa Group Holdings (ASX:CGC) has experienced subdued demand in a number of categories, namely tomato, berry and avocado during December 2018. These factors will result in a reduction to the previously guided interim FY18 forecast ending December 2018.

Womens fashion retail group Noni B (ASX:NBL) reports total sales rose by 140 per cent to $457 million in the six months ended December 31. Due to the group's acquisition of five brands from rival retailers Specialty Fashion and improved trading they expect their underlying EBITDA for the first half ended 30 December 2018 to be approximately $29 million.

The Board at Murray Cod Australia (ASX:MCA) says their fish stocks have not been affected by the recent fish deaths on the Darling River. Fish kills have been caused by a Low Dissolved Oxygen event associated with the rapid die off of an algal bloom along this section of the river.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Real Estate Investment Trust adding 1.3 per cent while the worst performing sector was Consumer Staples, shedding 1.98 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Nanosonics (ASX:NAN), rising 4.1 per cent to close at $3.06. Shares in St Barbara (ASX:SBM) and Automotive Holdings Group (ASX:AHG) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Costa Group Holdings (ASX:CGC), dropping 39 per cent to close at $4.51. Shares in Treasury Wine (ASX:TWE) and Invocare (ASX:IVC) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 1.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 3.1 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.2 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,296 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 0.8 per cent at $73.90 and its futures are pointing to a fall of 0.9 per cent
Light crude is $2.39 up at $US52.50 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.65 US cents.