Woolworths gains after spin-off announcement: ASX closed 0.5% higher

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

After a dip in early trade the Australian share market managed to gain momentum and closed 0.5 per cent higher. SpeedCast International (ASX:SDA) shares continue to slump after they announced a lower expectation for their EBITDA for its full year. The Consumer staples sector is leading the way and the Energy sector trailing behind.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 32 points higher to finish at 6686.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 29 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 3 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing afall of 6 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 20 point rise tomorrow.

Economic news

In trend terms, the balance on goods and services was a surplus of $6,089 million in May 2019, an increase of $169 million on the surplus in April 2019. This caused the Aussie dollar to lift slightly.

For Building Approvals - The number of dwellings approved in Australia fell by 0.5 per cent in May, in trend terms, according to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

Company news

Investment company HUB24 (ASX:HUB) entered into a trading halt today to address an article in The Australian Financial Review regarding interest rate cuts. The company says they maintain flexible fee arrangements with licensees for their clients. They say all clients of HUB24 are receiving a positive interest rate on their cash account, post yesterday’s RBA rate change. Hub24 told the ASX it needed to respond to some of the points made in the AFR published on Wednesday morning. Shares in HUB24 (ASX:HUB) closed 4.41 per cent lower at $10.87.

The Woolworths Group (ASX:WOW) plans to combine its drinks and hospitality business, Endeavour Drinks and ALH Group, with the idea to eventually demerge it. The single entity is expected to be referred to as Endeavour Group Limited with separation expected to take place in calendar year 2020. Woolworths Group and BMG have enjoyed a partnership in ALH since 2004.

Universal Coal plc (ASX:UNV) report that Afrimat have withdrawn their nonbinding indicative offer to purchase the entire issued share capital of Universal. Meanwhile, Universal say they are on track to deliver the group’s EBITDA guidance for FY2019 of $93 million.

Financial services tech company GBST (ASX:GBT) has received a revised non-binding indicative proposal from American investment management software company SS&C Technologies at $3.60 per share. This values the equity of GBST at approximately $244 million.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Consumer Staples adding 2 per cent while the worst performing sector was Energy, shedding 2.2 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Nufarm (ASX:NUF), rising 7.4 per cent to close at $4.51. Shares in St Barbara (ASX:SBM) and Saracen Mineral Holdings (ASX:SAR) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Speedcast International (ASX:SDA), dropping 16.5 per cent to close at $1.72. Shares in Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) and Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.5 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.4 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 1 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,426 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 1.7 per cent to US$125.77
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 1.7 per cent.
Light crude is US$2.77 lower at US$56.32 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 69.97 US cents.

 

Rachael Jones

Finance News Network
Rachael comes to FNN after working for Fairfax Media covering international breaking news, including the global economy and politics. She joined FNN in February 2018. She has reported on Australia’s finance news for various organisations since 2000 and has also interviewed a number of key business players, including Bill Gates. Rachael has also worked across a number of countries, including the UK and the US.