Fresh 4-month highs, IDP Education gains 21%, CYBG breaks down trend: ASX closes 1.1% higher

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market inked its four day of straight gains fuelling the local bourse to hit a new four-month high.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 66 points higher, or 1.1 per cent higher to finish at 6,093, with Healthcare, Financials, Energy and Industrials all gaining over 1 per cent and leading most of the sectors higher, with just Utilities seeing some selling after AGL (ASX:AGL) shars fell on missing earnings expectations.

Overnight Wall Street retreated, with investors absorbing President Donald Trump's second State of the Union address and mixed US earnings results.


Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 50 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a fall of 6 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a fall 17 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 71 point rise tomorrow morning

Company news

Mining services company, Ausdrill (ASX:ASL) saw a strong rally, rising to a three-month high after, after announcing its subsidiary, hard-rock underground minger Barminco won an extra $100 million worth of works in underground mining in India. Shares in Ausdrill (ASX:ASL) closed 6 per cent higher today at $1.51. 

IDP Education (ASX:IEL) announced its net profit (attributable to shareholders) rose over 30 per cent in the first half of the 2019 financial year, to $40.8 million, while its revenue (from ordinary activities) rose 25 per cent compared to the same period in FY17 hitting $304.3 million. IDP’s IELTS volumes rose about 20 per cent for the period, while India continued to be a key driver of growth. Year on year (YOY) its shares are 103 per cent higher. This year alone (year-to-date (YTD)), its trading 40 per cent higher. 

Services company Downer EDI (ASX:DOW) released its results for the half year ending 31 December 2018 with its statutory net profit after tax (NPAT) rising to $141.4 million, beating Citi's expectations of $124 million. It's a big swing from last year's $15.9 million loss. Its shares are 7 per cent higher this year.

AGL (ASX:AGL) has announced its statutory net profit after tax for the six months to 31 December fell 53 per cent to $290 million. While its underlying net profit after tax rose 10 per cent rise to $537 million. Both figures were a miss compared to Citi's forecast of $567 million in NPAT for the period. Its shares are 2.4 per cent higher year-to-date. 

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Financials adding 1.8 per cent while the worst performing sector was Utilities, shedding 1.4 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was IDP Education (ASX:IEL), rising 21.2 per cent to close at $13.80. Shares in CYBG (ASX:CYB) followed after they broke above of its long term trend, rising above its 50-day average, (rising 18 per cent) after reporting a rise in customer lending growth and a fall in underlying operating costs. Shares in Emeco Holdings (ASX:EHL) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Saracen Mineral Holdings (ASX:SAR), dropping 5.2 per cent to close at $3.10. Shares in AGL Energy (ASX:AGL) and Downer EDI (ASX:DOW) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.7 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.2 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 1.3 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,304 an ounce.
The iron ore price is steady at US$85.53.
Iron ore futures are eyeing a rise of 6.3 per cent.
Light crude is $0.24 up at US$53.90 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 70.99 US cents.

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