Lynas stock jumps over 35%: ASX closed 0.1% higher

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market started rising after lunchtime trade, closing 0.1 per cent higher. Rare earth company Lynas (ASX:LYC) shares have shot up over 35 per cent after Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) announced a $1.5 billion bid for the company. Meanwhile, one of the worst performers of the day is Eclipx Group (ASX:ECX), down over 12.3 per cent. It's dropped 70 per cent since last week when merger plans with McMillan Shakespeare were scrapped.The Utlities sector led the pack today with Consumer Discretionary coming in as the worst performing index.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 4 points higher to finish at 6131.

Futures

Dow futures are suggesting a gain of 89 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 9 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a gain of 20 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 9 point rise tomorrow morning

Company news

IMF Bentham (ASX:IMF) says proceedings have been filed by the Liquidators of Forge Group Limited in the Supreme Court of Western Australia in relation to claims of insider trading against Clough Operations. The allegations concern Clough Operations’ $187 million sale of its 36 per cent stake in Forge. Shares in IMF Bentham (ASX:IMF) closed 3.3 per cent lower at $2.36.

Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) has made a conditional, non-binding indicative $1.5 billion proposal for rare earths miner Lynas. The acquisition is for 100 per cent of the ordinary shares of Lynas at $2.25 cash per share.

BINGO Industries (ASX:BIN) has completed its acquisition of Dial-a-Dump. BINGO paid $577.5 million for the waste management and services provider. The purchase was partially funded by a $425 million underwritten Entitlement Offer.

Kathmandu (ASX:KMD) has announced its half year results for financial year 2019 with profit (for the period attributable to members) (NPAT) rising over 13.7 per cent to NZ$14 million when compared with the year earlier period. The outdoor clothing and equipment retailer says revenues (from ordinary activities) also lifted, up 13.3 per cent NZ$232 million. Despite sales being below expectation, the company saw an improvement in retail gross margin.

The best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Utlities adding 1.4 per cent while the worst performing sector was Consumer Discretionary shedding 1.2 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Lynas (ASX:LYC), rising 35.1 per cent to close at $2.10. Shares in Challenger (ASX:CGF) and St Barbara (ASX:SBM) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Elcipx Group (ASX:ECX) losing 12.3 per cent to close at $0.57. Shares in Estia Health (ASX:EHE) and Ardent Leisure Group (ASX:ALG) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has added 2.1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.1 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 1 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,319 an ounce.
Iron ore price down 0.2 per cent to US$85.81
Iron ore futures are eyeing a rise of 0.2 per cent.
Light crude is $0.4 up at US$59.08 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.21 US cents.