ASX fresh closing high 6,500 pts, if employment doesn't improve, cash rate drop likely: ASX closes 0.4% higher

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market bounced back from its early selling and rose for the fifth straight trading day, setting a new fresh record, closing at 6,500 points, a level we last touched pre-GFC, in December 2007, almost 12 years ago.

It comes as Financials extended on their gains, taking the sector back to where it traded in August last year. Mortgage Choice (ASX:MOC) rose about 12 per cent while Bendigo and Adelaide Bank (ASX:BEN) rose over 3 per cent with Westpac (ASX:WBC) following.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 24 points higher or 0.4 per cent up to finish at 6,500 points.

Futures market

On Monday on Wall Street, all the major indices closed lower, with the Nasdaq down the most, after Google suspended business dealings with Huawei on President Donald Trump banning US companies from working with the Chinese firm.

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 93 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 10 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a lift of 36 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 15-point rise.

Economic news

The RBA said, if the labour market does not improve ‘in the period ahead…a decrease in the cash rate would likely be appropriate’. However, if the unemployment rate falls, it would ‘be consistent with achieving Australia's medium-term inflation target’.

These were comments made in the minutes released today from its bank board meeting at the beginning at the month.

Company news

Computershare (ASX:CPU) has presented its investment case as its investor day today. It reaffirmed its FY19 guidance, consistent with what the business said in February. It expects management EPS for FY19 on constant currency basis to rise by around 12.5 per cent. Shares in Computershare (ASX:CPU) closed 8.5 per cent lower at $16.47.

Analytical testing services provider, ALS (ASX:ALQ) has announced its underlying net profit after (UNPAT) firmed 27 per cent higher to $181.0 million, ahead of its guidance of between $170 million to $175 million. Its final dividend also rose over 27 per cent, to 11.5 cents per share.

Rare-earths mining company, Lynas Corporation (ASX:LYC) highlighted its growth plans for the business after several months of leg work. It includes ‘enhancing earnings’ by improving portfolio prices and introducing greater cost efficiences. The growth plans which have been approved by the board are vast and varied and also include a $500 million capital plan, with the ongoing support from Japanese government-backed financier, JARE.

Australia’s largest enterprise Software as a Service (SaaS) company, TechnologyOne (ASX:TNE) announced its financial results for the half-year ended 31 March 2019, showing continuing strong growth with net profit before tax rising 130 per cent to $24.5 million. This was underpinned by the fast growth of the TechnologyOne enterprise SaaS solution.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Financials adding 1.7 per cent while the worst performing sector was Information Technologies, shedding 3.49 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Lynas Corporation (ASX:LYC), rising 14.4 per cent to close at $2.26. Shares in Adelaide Brighton (ASX:ABC) and Incitec Pivot (ASX:IPL) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was TechnologyOne (ASX:TNE), dropping 14 per cent to close at $7.78. Shares in Computershare (ASX:CPU) and ALS (ASX:ALQ) followed lower.

Asian markets

Mixed: Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is steady and the Shanghai Composite has gained 1.3 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,276 an ounce.
Iron ore price is steady at US$101.71
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.4 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.38 up at US$63.30 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 68.75 US cents.

Jessica Amir

Finance News Network
Jessica joined FNN in January 2017 after having worked in financial advising for seven years and in TV journalism for seven years, specialising in finance, equities and analysis. She has interviewed former Prime Ministers of Australia, Tony Abbott, Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd and ex Treasurer Jo Hockey. Jessica has worked as a journalist with Sky News Business, ABC 1, ABC's The Business, ABC24 and has also been a regional Channel 7 and 9 TV reporter with Prime7 and Win News.