US progress sees AfterPay shares lift: ASX closes 0.4% higher

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market saw strong volumes today closing 0.4 per cent higher. A gainer today was the Afterpay Touch Grop (ASX:APT) jumping over 8 per cent after giving an update on its progress in the US. Meanwhile shares in the Vocus Group (ASX:VOC) have taken a huge slide after failing to secure an offer from Swedish private equity group EQT after revealing the potential buyout bid only a week ago. As for the sectors, Information Technology is still leading the way – following on from Wall St and REITs are lagging behind.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 26 points higher to finish at 6359.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 20 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 3 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a lift of 12 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 27 point rise tomorrow.

Economic news

Australian economy grew 0.4 per cent in March according to the fresh data released today by the ABS. It was less than the 0.5 per cent expected.

The services sector returned to positive territory and expansionary phase after rising by 6 points to 52.5 in May, according to the Australian Industry Group’s (AIG) Performance of Services Index.

Company news

Meridian Energy (ASX:MEZ) Chief Executive, Neal Barclay, has today confirmed the appointment of Nic Kennedy as Chief Executive of subsidiary Flux Federation. Nic has recently been Chair of the Board of Flux Federation. As a result, the current Flux Federation Board will be dissolved, and the Flux Chief Executive role will become a member of the Meridian Executive, directly reporting to Neal. Shares in Meridian Energy (ASX:MEZ) are 2.8 per cent higher at $4.07.

Charter Hall Long Wale REIT (ASX:CLW) is looking to raise $180 million. They have entered into agreements to acquire two office properties and a 50 per cent interest in a long leased prime industrial property for $206 million.

Software company LiveTiles (ASX:LVT) has just launched its AI-driven, data-centric security solution in conjunction with alliance partner Nucleus Cyber. The solution works effectively across Microsoft’s Office 365 platform to provide security against the threat of malicious insiders.

Cashwerkz (ASX:CWZ) has launched its digital cash investment platform via the Praemium Integrated Managed Accounts Platform. The Virtual Managed Accounts solution (VMA) currently reports on more than $140 billion of investment portfolios and assets.

And nine months after listing, Nickel Mines (ASX:NIC) has completed a $55 million placement to increase its stake in the in the Ranger Nickel Project to 60 per cent.

Best and worst performers 

The best performing sector was Information Technology adding 2.1 per cent while the worst performing sector was Real Estate Investment Trust, shedding 1.4 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was AfterPay Touch (ASX:APT), rising 7.1 per cent to close at $23.90. Shares in Bingo Industries (ASX:BIN) and Cooper Energy (ASX:COE) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Vocus Group (ASX:VOC), dropping 17.7 per cent to close at $3.77. Shares in Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) and Regis Resources (ASX:RRL) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has added 1.8 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.5 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.5 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,330 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 1.3 per cent to US$100.38
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 1 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.30 lower at US$52.95 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 70.05 US cents.