The Australian share market started the week on good footing rising 0.3 per cent with most sectors mustering up and Materials out in front, with the heavyweight miners shining after Fortescue (ASX:FMG) rose over 5 per cent, while Rio (ASX:RIO) and BHP (ASX:BHP) added over 1 per cent each, with the Australian dollar rising throughout the session.
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 0.3 per cent higher or 15 points higher at 6,191 points.
From the outset, we had positive US leads from Friday’s session in the US on reports US-China trade talks are going well. The Nasdaq rose the most [0.8 per cent] followed by the S&P 500 [which rose 0.5 per cent] which closed off its best week since November.
Dow futures are suggesting a gain of 8 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 2 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a gain of 4 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 20-point rise tomorrow morning with traders and investors ready to eye the RBA board meeting minutes tomorrow at 11.30am, with UBS saying rates may or may not be cut in May.
Australian neo-lender (digital only lender) Wisr (ASX:WZR) has officially launched its debt reduction round-up app. It already has over 4,000 Australian using its test app, which automatically ‘rounds-up’ digital spare change to pay off debt faster. The company says the app is aimed at helping Australians pay down the $40 billion owed on credit cards, with one-in-six Australians worried about their debt levels. The app has already reached the top 10 finance apps in the App Store and has reached the overall top 200 charts. Shares in Wisr (ASX:WZR) closed 7.1 per cent higher at $0.07.
The Commonwealth Bank (ASX:CBA) has settled a research and development (R&D) tax dispute with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), agreeing to withdraw from all current proceedings made from the 2012 and 2013 financial years.
Vocus Group (ASX:VOC) has responded to media speculation regarding a potential equity raising saying it doesn’t intend to raise additional equity, after it refinanced its debt facility in June 2018. The announcement comes after The Australian newspaper reported the telecommunications company could be considering a move to tap the market to drive down its debt.
Online marketplace company, Redbubble (ASX:RBL) has advised it won a court battle against Hells Angels Motorcycle Corporation Australia. The copyright, trademark and consumer law proceedings were brought before the Federal Court of Australia in 2015 by Hells Angels. The court ruled in Redbubble’s favour and dismissed all of Hells Angels’ claims, however, the Judge made findings of technical trademark infringement, awarding nominal damages of $5,000. Nevertheless, Neither this case or the Pokemon case will have a financial or operational impact on Redbubble.
Best and worst performers of the day
The best performing sector was S&P/ASX Materials adding 1.1 per cent while the worst performing sector was S&P/ASX Utilities, shedding 0.6 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG), rising 5.4 per cent to close at $6.83. Shares in Nanosonics (ASX:NAN) and Bravura Solutions (ASX:BVS) followed higher.
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Bingo Industries (ASX:BIN), dropping 4.9 per cent to close at $1.55. Shares in HUB24 (ASX:HUB) followed lower after a director sold down about $3.9 million of shares. Shares in REA Group (ASX:REA) also followed lower.
Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.5 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.7 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 1.3 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,299 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 0.8 per cent to US$86.52
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 1.8 per cent.
Light crude is $0.09 lower at US$58.82 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.12 US cents.