RBA cuts cash rate by 25 basis points: Aus shares close 0.2% higher

Market Reports

by Katrina Bullock

It's been a positive day of trade for the Australian share market with the ASX200 managing to unwind some of the losses we have seen over the past week to close 0.2 per cent higher. The Financial sector rallied this afternoon following news that the RBA has slashed the cash rate for the first time in 2.5 years. This cut was in line with expectations. The National Australia Bank (ASX:NAB) and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) have announced that they will be passing on the full rate cut to consumers. About half of the sectors made gains today with the Communications and Real Estate sectors leading the way. Neometals (ASX:NMT) has sees positive results from its scoping study on the recycling of lithium ion batteries

The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 12 points higher at 6,332.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 23 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a lift of 1 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a flat start.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a fall of 26 points.

Economic news

The RBA has slashed interest rates for the first time in 2.5 years. The bank lowered the cash rate by 25 basis points to 1.25% saying the drop will "support employment growth and provide greater confidence that inflation will be consistent with the medium-term target". This met the consensus expectation and is the first time the RBA has cut rates since 3 August 2016.

Australia's current account balance for the March quarter is a deficit of $2.9 billion. This is higher than the consensus with predictions indicating a $2.5 billion deficit. This is down from a $6.3 billion deficit in the previous quarter.

Meantime, retail sales fell an unexpected one tenth of a per cent, missing consensus of a 0.2 per cent rise.

Company news

Neometals (ASX:NMT) has completed its scoping study on the recycling of lithium ion batteries and says the results "support robust economic outcomes for the recycling process". The recycling technology is being demonstrated in the company’s Canadian pilot plant. The process recovers cobalt, nickel, copper and lithium as high-purity sulphate products. Provisional patents are pending in Australia and Europe and the next step will be the commencement of engineering and feasibility studies. Shares in Neometals (ASX:NMT) closed 2.2 per cent higher at 24 cents.

The Federal Court of Australia has approved a scheme of arrangement between Amcor (ASX:AMC) and its shareholders to create a new holding company, Amcor plc. The company has been created to give effect to the combination of Amcor and Bemis Company. Amcor has lodged a copy of the court's orders with ASIC and the scheme has become legally effective. The Scheme will be implemented on Tuesday 11 June with Amcor shareholders set to receive one new Amcor ASX listed CHESS Depositary Interests, or if elected, one New Amcor New York Stock Exchange listed share, for each Amcor share held. Shares in Amcor (ASX:AMC) closed 0.4 per cent higher at $16.18.

Retail asset management company, Vicinity Centres (ASX:VCX), has today announced the appointment of Nick Schiffer as Chief Financial Officer.

APA Group (ASX:APA) has signed a three year extension to an existing gas transportation agreement with Incitec Pivot (ASX:IPL).

Coca-Cola Amatil (ASX:CCL) has today announced that the SPC fruit and vegetable processing business will be sold to Shepparton Partners Collective and its group of companies for approximately $40 million.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was S&P/ASX Communications adding 1 per cent while the worst performing sector was Information Technology shedding 2.4 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Metcash (ASX:MTS), rising 3.4 per cent to close at $3.06. Shares in Abacus Property Group (ASX:ABP) and Eclipx Group (ASX:ECX) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Bravura Solutions (ASX:BVS), dropping 11.3 per cent to close at $4.65. Shares in Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR) and Lynas Corporation (ASX:LYC) followed lower.

Asian markets

Lower: Japan’s Nikkei is 0.1 per cent lower, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.5 per cent and the Shanghai Composite is down 1 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,327 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 2.4 per cent to US$99.12.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a lift of 0.3 per cent.
Light crude is 65 cents lower at US$52.85 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 69.83 US cents.

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