RBA may slash rates in May: ASX200 snaps 4-day losing streak, up 0.3% Thursday

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Aussie share market broke its four-day losing streak, shaking off mid-session selling and ended with over half of the sectors in the black. The Energy sector continued to lead the way today after oil price rallied overnight with the WTI price gaining 2.6 per cent to 2019 highs, US$58.34. While the smaller tech sector also muscled higher with Afterpay (ASX:APT) gaining over 3 per cent.

Zooming out and looking at the economic picture, UBS flagged that with consumer sentiment falling 4.8 per cent, and below the long-term average, it expects the RBA may cut rates in May.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 0.3 per cent or 18 points higher at 6,180 points.

Yesterday, Wall Street rose back to fresh record highs with S&P 500 gaining 0.7 per cent, notching its third day of gains, hitting a 2019 high, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 0.7 per cent and the Dow followed with Boeing shares starting to claw back.

Futures

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 38 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a slip of 3 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a fall of 9 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 19 point rise tomorrow morning

Company news 

Sandfire (ASX:SFR) has announced its Black Butte copper project in Montana in the US, has passed a key milestone with the release of its draft environmental impact statement, which outlines the final steps to get the project to proceed. Its shares closed 0.3 per cent lower at $6.76.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) has suspended its preparations to demerge its wealth management and mortgage broking business. It comes as the big four banks is prioritising making necessary changes to the business from the Royal Commission, which includes refunding customers and remediating past issues. Nevertheless, CBA says it’s committed to simplifying its banking and selling off the two said businesses. CBA shares closed 0.2 per cent lower at $72.93.

Property developer Stockland (ASX:SGP) has exchanged on the sale of two Brisbane shopping and commercial centres for $143 million combined. And the company says it’s on track to hit its $400 million target in divestments over two years.

Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR) is continuing to ramp up its graphite Balama project in Mozambique, saying first-quarter 2019 production is on track for 45-kilotonnes, in line with the lower end of its guidance.

MYOB (ASX:MYO) announced the Federal Course of Australia approved its shareholders to vote on the proposed $2 billion takeover offer by KKR, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, together with its affiliates. Meantime, the independent expert, Grant Samuel & Associates says the takeover by KKR at $3.40 is fair and reasonable and is in the best interests of MYOB Shareholders. They valued MYOB between $3.19 and $3.69 per MYOB share.

Buy now pay later company, Zip Co (ASX:Z1P) raised $42.8 million in an institutional placement, to accelerate growth and strengthen its balance sheet. Zip will raise $5 million via a share purchase plan at $1.53 per share.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was S&P/ASX Energy adding 1.4 per cent while the worst performing sector was Utilities, shedding 0.4 per cent, on equal footing with the Consumer Discretionary sector.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR), rising 8.5 per cent to close at $1.15. Shares in Bellamy's Australia Limited (ASX:BAL) and Lynas Corporation (ASX:LYC) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was G8 Education (ASX:GEM), dropping 3.8 per cent to close at $3.17. Shares in Corporate Travel Management (ASX:CTD) and Spark New Zealand (ASX:SPK) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 1.2 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has shed 1.1 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,303 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 0.6 per cent to US$84.78
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 2.3 per cent.
Light crude is $1.45 up at US$58.65 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 70.60 US cents.