A fair go for Australia, Financials bounce back from Labor scare selling: ASX closes 1.7% higher, near 12 yr highs

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market jumped higher at the outset and continued to gain momentum, finishing with a healthy 1.7 per cent gain today, closing at 6,476 points, a level we last hit almost 12 years ago in December 2007.

Financials saw the most charge after the sector recouped most of its loses from the beginning of May, after investors and traders sold down the financial sector ahead of Labor potentially coming into power -  and scrapping dividend imputation credit refunds and negative gearing taxation deductions. But after the surprise Coalition win, the sector recouped most of those losses today. 

We saw Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC) shares charge 9.2 per cent higher to $27.75, Shares in National Australia Bank (ASX:NAB) gained 7.9 per cent to $25.81, shares in Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX:ANZ) rose 7.8 per cent to $27.86 and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) shares gained 6.3 per cent to $77.40.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 111 points higher to finish at 6,476.

The ASX defied Wall Street’s negative leads from Friday after the tech heavy Nasdaq fell the most, 1 per cent amid China-US trade talks stalling.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 70 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 8 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a lift of 22 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 114-point rise.

Company news

Specialist non-bank credit provider Money3 Corporation (ASX:MNY), has completed the sale of its lending business, Small Amount Credit Contract, SACC for $35 million. It has maintained its FY19 net profit after tax guidance of $35 million for FY19 and it’s committed to paying a minimum fully franked dividend of at least 10 cents in FY20. The proceeds will be used to fund ongoing growth of its car loans business. Shares in Money3 Corporation (ASX:MNY) closed 9.4 per cent higher at $2.21.

Incitec Pivot's (ASX:IPL) group first half FY19 net profit after tax bolstered to $42 million, up from $8 million in the prior corresponding period (pcp). However, when excluding individual material items, its NPAT fell 72 per cent on the prior corresponding period. Its headline revenue also charged up, rising by $59 million. Its earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) rose to $119 million.

Scentre Group (ASX:SCG) has inked a deal to sell 50 per cent of its Burwood Westfield shopping centre to the Perron Group for $575 million. The group will become a joint venture partner in the shopping centre. The sale represents a 4.1 per cent premium to Scentre Group’s book value at 31 December 2018.

Elders (ASX:ELD) half year net profit to 31 March 2019 tumbled 34 per cent to $27.4 million when compared with the year earlier period. Elders says it was impacted by dry conditions and lack of feed across Australia.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Financials, adding 5.8 per cent, while the worst performing sector was Information Technology, shedding 1.4 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was nib Holdings (ASX:NHF), rising 15.8 per cent to close at $6.82. Shares in Medibank Private (ASX:MPL) and Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Webjet (ASX:WEB), dropping 7.7 per cent to close at $15.50. Shares in Nearmap (ASX:NEA) and Altium (ASX:ALU) followed lower.

Asian markets

Mixed: Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.7 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.9 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,276 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 2.5 per cent to US$101.71.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 1.4 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.14 down at US$62.92 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 69.21 US cents.