AUD drops to a ten year low against USD: ASX closed 0.6% higher

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market closed 0.6 per cent higher. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand cut official interest rates by 50 basis points today. The New Zealand dollar plunged after the announcement and the Australian dollar was down to US66.88 cents, the lowest since 19 March, 2009. Suncorp (ASX:SUN) shares rose as they reported their annual profit fell 83.5 per cent from a year ago to $175 million. As for the sectors, REITS led the way with Energy coming in last.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 41 points higher to finish at 6,520.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 83 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 11 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing afall of 33 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 0.9 per cent lift tomorrow.

Economic news

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand cut its official cash rate by 50 basis points to 1 per cent — the same as Australias. Our dollar responded by hitting a ten-year low,New Zealand's dollar fell even further

Meanwhile, the Performance of Construction Index from AiG fell 3.9 points to 39.1 in July, its lowest level in six years. New orders also declined with continued job losses.

New mortgage lending rose by 1.9 per cent to $16.82 billion in June, according to seasonally adjusted data released by the ABS today.

Company news

The Charter Hall Group (ASX:CHC) today announced that two of its managed wholesale funds have combined to partner with Singapore wealth fund GIC, to acquire the leasehold of Chifley Tower in Sydney. Charter Hall will assume the Asset and Property management of 100 per cent of the Tower increasing the Group's funds under management (FUM) by approximately $1.8 billion to over $33 billion. Shares in Charter Hall Group (ASX:CHC) are 3.1 per cent higher at $11.48.

The Commonwealth Bank (ASX:CBA) reported an 8.1 per cent fall in its full year profit with statutory NPAT at $8.571 million. Underlying cash profit was $8.5 billion, down 4.7 per cent slightly below market expectations. This was weaker than Citi's expectations and weaker than consensus. The full year dividend was flat at $4.31 a share.

Fonterra (ASX:FSF) is set to sell a portion of its stake in Beingmate Baby & Child Food Company, which is currently a shareholding of 18.8 per cent.
Andrew Wilkinson, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of ALE Property Group (ASX:LEP) after 16 years has decided to leave to pursue other challenges.

Transurban (ASX:TLC) released their full year results today showing profit from ordinary activities after tax decreased 63.7 per cent to $170 million. Revenue from ordinary activities increased 26.3 per cent.

Sequoia Financial Group (ASX:SEQ) has announced the acquisition of Libertas Financial Planning. The move makes Sequoia one of the largest non-bank owned financial adviser groups in the country.

Best and worst performers 

The best performing sector was REITs adding 1.6 per cent while the worst performing sector was Energy, shedding 0.7 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG), rising 8.7 per cent to close at $2.06. Shares in Pinnacle Investment Management Group (ASX:PNI) and Regis Resources (ASX:RRL) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG), dropping 3.3 per cent to close at $7.05. Shares in Appen (ASX:APX) and Mayne Pharma (ASX:MYX) followed lower.

Asian markets

Mixed:Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.01 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.1 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,487 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 3 per cent to US$97.55
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 5.2 per cent.
Light crude is US$1.23 down at US$53.46 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 67.14 US cents.