RBA's Lowe defends current target inflation: ASX closed 0.6% higher

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

It has been a positive day of trade for the Australian share market. After opening in the black the local bourse managed to gain momentum to close at 0.6 per cent higher, just short of a record high. The All Ords extended its all time high. Shares in IOOF Holdings (ASX:IFL) have risen after they reported today that their Funds Under Management Advice and Administration was up by 19 per cent to $149.5 billion. Iluka Resources (ASX:ILU) continues to fall as does Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG). The Aussie dollar dropped as RBA Governor Philip Lowe spoke on the inflation target at lunch.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 41 points higher to finish at 6818.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 49 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 2 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing afall of 17 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 0.6 per cent rise tomorrow.

Local economic news

The Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe defended the inflation target of 2 – 3 per cent today. His conclusion is that our current approach is still the best approach. He was speaking on Inflation Targeting and Economic Welfare at The Anika Foundation Luncheon in Sydney today.

Broker moves

Citi has classed Aristocrat (ASX:ALL) as a buy with a 12-month price target of $35.00. It comes as they believe they can increase leased market share from 33 per cent to 40 per cent by Financial Year 2021. Aristocrat (ASX:ALL) closed 1.2 per cent higher at $30.86.

Company news

Global software company LiveTiles (ASX:LVT) has entered into a strategic partnership with UiPath – the world leader in Robotic Process Automation. They will focus on utilising Ai to help customers determine what should be automated and use Bots to drive greater productivity. UiPath is a multibillion-dollar company with over 400,000 users globally, including JP Morgan, Charles Schwab and the US Navy. They also have a long-standing relationship with Microsoft. Shares in LiveTiles (ASX:LVT) closed 5.8 per cent higher at $0.55.

Australia’s first neo-lender, Wisr (ASX:WZR) has entered into a three-year agreement with Smartgroup Corporation (ASX:SIQ). They'll partner on the distribution of Wisr’s ecosystem of financial wellness products. Shares in Wisr (ASX:WZR) closed 6.1 per cent higher at $0.18.

ASIC has advised ANZ Bank (ASX:ANZ) that they intend to start civil penalty proceedings against the bank in relation to the charging of fees for periodical payments in certain circumstances prior to February 2016. ANZ denies any deliberate wrongdoing and intends to vigorously defend the allegation.

Bank of Queensland (ASX:BOQ) today announced the appointment of Peter Sarantzouklis as its Group Executive BOQ Business. He's formerly from Westpac (ASX:WBC).

Karoon Energy (ASX:KAR) has announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Karoon Petróleo e Gás, has executed a binding sale and purchase agreement to acquire a 100 per cent operating interest in the Baúna field located in the Santos Basin, offshore Brazil for a headline consideration of US$665 million.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was healthcare adding 1.7 per cent while the worst performing sector was Materials, the only sector in the red shedding 1.5 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was IOOF Holdings (ASX:IFL), rising 6.9 per cent to close at $5.87. Shares in Nufarm (ASX:NUF) and NRW Holdings (ASX:NWH) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Iluka Resources (ASX:ILU),dropping 7 per cent to close at $9.29. Shares in Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) and Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST) followed lower.

Asian markets

higher:Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.3 per cent and the Shanghai Composite hasgained 0.3 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,423 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 2.4 per cent to US$114.97
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.5 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.87 lower at US$55.90 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 69.66US cents.