James Hardie soars on profit results: ASX closes 0.3% higher

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market closed 0.3 per cent higher.James Hardie Industries (ASX:JHX) shares soared today after they posted their adjusted NOPAT for 2020 saying would be higher than consensus forecast. AMP (ASX:AMP) shares are also on the up after announcing yesterday their three-year transformation program. Afterpay (ASX:APT) shares are also higher. Shares in Mirvac (ASX:MGR) are down. As for the sectors, Infotech led the pack today following rises on the NASDAQ. Healthcare didn’t fare so well. Meanwhile, RBA governor Philip Lowe spoke on monetary policy today about the impacts of ultra low rates.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 16 points higher to finish at 6,584.

Over the week, the market has lost 184 points or 2.8 per cent.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 97 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 13 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a fall of 46 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 0.2 per cent rise for Monday morning.

Economic news

RBA Governor Philip Lowe spoke today on monetary policy. He said "Lower interest rates do support the overall economy". Lowe noted interest rates in Switzerland, Japan and Europe are negative.

Company news

SkyCity Entertainment Group (ASX:SKC) says that the sale of a long-term concession over its Auckland car parks is unconditional and is expected to happen on the 19th August this year. They entered into a concession agreement with Macquarie Principal Finance Group on 3 April 2019. Skycity sold the car parks for $220 million. Shares in SkyCity Entertainment Group (ASX:SKC) closed 1.1 per cent lower at $3.71.

James Hardie Industries (ASX:JHX) expects better earnings for 2020 with an improved outlook for the US housing market, but added that Australia's property sector is still a problem. Adjusted net operating profit is expected to come in between $325 million and $365 million for the year ending March 31, 2020, compared to the consensus forecast range of US$328 million to US$360 million.

Downer EDI (ASX:DOW) has been awarded a five-year extension on its gas services contract with AusNet Services worth approximately $350 million.
Afterpay (ASX:APT) will be running the second Afterpay Day in the US next week. It's a biannual two-day sale by top fashion and beauty brands and retailers, that offer Afterpay.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Information Technology adding 1.3 per cent while the worst performing sector was Healthcare shedding 0.7 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was James Hardie Industries (ASX:JHX), rising 14.1 per cent to $21.68, followed by shares in AMP (ASX:AMP) and Orocobre (ASX:ORE)

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Mirvac (ASX:MGR), dropping 3.2 per cent to close at $3.29. Shares in Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG) and Saracen (ASX:SAR) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.5 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.2 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.6 per cent.

Let's take a look at Wall Street across the last four days.

The Dow has lost 0.4 per cent, the S&P has gained 0.2 per cent and the NASDAQ has gained 0.4 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,506 an ounce.
Iron ore price ros 0.9 per cent to US$ $94.12
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 4.5 per cent.
Light crude is US$1.83 up at US$52.92 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 68.12 US cents.