The ASX continues its 3 day rally. It opened in the green and has been gaining ground through the day to close 0.4% higher. Afterpay Touch Group (ASX:APT) and Bellamy's Australia (ASX:BAL) are among our best performing stocks today, continuing their upward trend following the release of their half yearly results earlier in the week. The Real Estate sector led the charge today with very strong results from the Lendlease Group (ASX:LLC), Dexus (ASX:DXS) and Goodman Group (ASX:GMG).
The S&P/ASX200 index
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 24 points higher to finish at 6,193.
Over the week, the market has gained 25 points or 0.4 per cent.
Citi has maintained its buy position on Bellamy's Australia (ASX:BAL), and has downgraded its 12 month price target from $10.60 to $9.75. This follows the release of Bellamy's mid year results earlier in the week. Citi says the key risks for Bellamy's will be the reformulation of their infant formula not driving demand, SAMR registration, and the enforcement of China's e-commerce laws. Shares in Bellamy's Australia (ASX:BAL) closed 8.3 per cent higher at $8.83.
Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 96 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 11 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a lift of 36 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 27 point rise Monday morning.
The Australian Industry Group's Performance of Manufacturing Index recovered by a further 1.5 points to 54 points in seasonally adjusted terms in February 2019. This was its best result since October of last year and signals recovery after an unseasonably slow summer, with weak growth in January and two flat months in November and December of 2018.
The CoreLogic home value index results were also released today. Housing values continued to fall in February with CoreLogic’s National Index down 0.7 per cent. This takes the cumulative decline to -6.8 per cent since October of 2017.
Westgold Resources (ASX:WGX) reported a consolidated loss for the half year ending 31 December 2018 of $17.78 million on a group basis. Despite this, consolidated revenue increased 29 per cent compared to the same period the previous year and came in at $232.53 million due to an increase in production. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for the half year were $29.5 million. These results follow an announcement from Doray Minerals (ASX:DRM) this morning, that the decision to divest the Andy Well and Gnaweeda Gold Projects to Westgold Resources (ASX:WGX) has been terminated. Shares in Westgold Resources (ASX:WGX) closed 2.5 per cent lower at $1.18.
AFT Pharmaceuticals (ASX:AFP) has successfully completed development of a faster release version of its dual action pain-killer, Maxigesic.
Future Generation Investment Company (ASX:FGX) has seen operating profit after tax of $23.2 million for the year ending 31 December 2018 - that's up from last year's $22.3 million.
People Infrastructure (ASX:PPE) is set to buy Victorian Nurse Specialists, a leading Melbourne-based nursing agency, for an acquisition price of $2.5 million.
Australia's largest natural gas infrastructure business, APA Group (ASX:APA) today announced that Patricia McKenzie will retire as a director of the Board of Australian Pipeline Limited.
Finders Resources (ASX:FND) have suspended mining operations at their Wetar Copper Project after they experienced a series of pit wall failures.
Catalyst Metals (ASX:CYL) have advise that Gold Exploration Victoria has agreed to subscribe for a $13.02 million placement of Catalyst shares at a subscription price of $1.50 per share.
Best and worst performers of the day
The best performing sector was Real Estate adding 2.1 per cent while the worst performing sector was Energy shedding 1.4 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Bellamy's Australia (ASX:BAL), rising 8.3 per cent to close at $8.83. Shares in Afterpay Touch Group (ASX:APT) and the ARB Corporation (ASX:ARB) followed higher.
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Automotive Holdings Group (ASX:AHG),dropping 8.3 per cent to close at $2.11. Shares in Lynas Corporation (ASX:LYC) and Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) followed lower.
higher:Japan’s Nikkei has added 1.1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.3 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.2 per cent.
Wrapped up our four trading days this week mixed: The Dow Jones lost 0.5 per cent, The S&P 500 lost 0.3 per cent and the tech heavy Nasdaq gained 0.1 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,313 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 2.1 per cent to US$85.29. Its futures are pointing to a rise of 2 per cent.
Light crude is 31 cents higher at US$57.25 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 70.93 US cents.