Citadel Group appoints Sam Weiss: Aus shares close 0.7% higher

Market Reports

by Katrina Bullock

It has been a positive day of trade for the Australian share market. The ASX200 opened slightly lower and took a dip this morning when unemployment figures for April came in weaker than expected. It managed to rally over the afternoon to close 0.7 per cent higher. Every sector except for Financials managed to make ground today with Energy leading the charge. The Citadel Group (ASX:CGL) has appointed Sam Weiss as an independent non-executive director. Synlait Milk (ASX:SM1) shares have taken a dip as Munchkin puts the US FDA process for its new grass fed infant formula on hold.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 44 points higher to finish at 6,328.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 73 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 9 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a fall of 36 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 34 point rise tomorrow.

Economic news

Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that Australia's unemployment rate for April was 5.2 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms. This is weaker than the consensus forecast which expected it to remain steady at the March figure of 5.1 per cent.

Broker moves

UBS rates beverage company Coca-Cola Amatil (ASX:CCL) as a sell with a 12-month price target of $7.70, down from $8.84. This follows the company's annual general meeting yesterday where management assured investors that Indonesian volumes were improving and 2020 guidance remained unchanged. UBS predicts that the 2020 targets could still prove optimistic following cost pressures, margin risk in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea and a potential channel shift as some of their key customers consider moving into wholesaling. Shares in Coca-Cola Amatil (ASX:CCL) closed 2.2 per cent higher at $9.19.

Citi has upgraded their 12-month month price target for paint and coating manufacturer, DuluxGroup (ASX:DLX) from $9.74 to $9.80 following a strong March quarter which has put them back on track to meet their guidance for the 2019 financial year. Citi continues to rate the stock as a neutral, as fears surface that the housing market, including the renovation and repair market, may be showing signs of "bottoming out". DuluxGroup management remains confident that the company's sale to Nippon Paint for a cash takeover offer of $9.80 per share will proceed as planned. Shares in DuluxGroup (ASX:DLX) closed 0.1 per cent lower at $9.73.

Company news

The Citadel Group (ASX:CGL) has appointed Sam Weiss as an independent non-executive director. The appointment will be effective from yesterday. Sam has over 20 years of board experience in Australia and Europe with broad industry exposure across the technology, education and consumer product sectors. He currently serves as Chairman of Altium (ASX:ALU) and 3P Learning (ASX: 3PL), having overseen these companies as they have successfully expanded operations internationally. Shares in the Citadel Group (ASX:CGL) closed 2.2 per cent higher at $6.84.

Synlait Milk (ASX:SM1) shares have taken a dip as the US Food and Drug Administration registration process required to launch Munchkin’s Grass Fed infant formula in the US has been put on hold. Synlait has been informed that the clinical study has been put on hold to allow Munchkin to explore other options in the US. Synlait CEO, Leon Clement, says that Munchkin has not terminated its supply agreement with Synlait Milk and this will not affect their relationship in other markets. Shares in Synlait Milk (ASX:SM1) closed 2.2 per cent lower at $9.57.

Accounting software company Xero (ASX:XRO) delivered operating revenue of $552.8 million New Zealand dollars, a 36 per cent rise on the prior corresponding period.

Duxton Water (ASX:D2O) is pleased to announce that upon the completion of the Share Purchase Plan at offer price of $1.48 per share, they have raised a total of $3.6 million.

The managing director of Midway (ASX:MWY), Tony Price has spoken to investors at the Shaw and Partners Emerging Leaders conference in Melbourne today saying that the Asian demand and price outlook is positive for the next five years.

AVITA Medical (ASX:AVH) has published a new joint study which shows that its RECELL® System for the treatment of in-patient burns is potentially cost-saving and results in reduced length of hospital stay as compared to the standard of care.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Energy adding 2.2 per cent while the worst performing sector was Financials, shedding 0.1 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Xero (ASX:XRO), rising 10.8 per cent to close at $60.15. Shares in Lynas Corporation (ASX:LYC) and oOh!Media (ASX:OML) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was McMillan Shakespeare (ASX:MMS), dropping 4 per cent to close at $12.67. Shares in Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC) and GWA Group (ASX:GWA) followed lower.

Asian markets

Mixed: Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.8 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.2 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.4 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,297 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 2.8 per cent to US$96.95.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 5.3 per cent.
Light crude is US 92 cents higher at US$62.35 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 69.09 US cents.