Wesfarmers buys Catch Group Holdings: ASX closed 0.1% higher

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market closed 0.1 per cent higher after struggling to gain huge momentum throughout the afternoon. Investor caution still surrounds concerns over the latest movement in the US China trade war. JB Hi-Fi shares have risen almost ten per cent. News Corp (ASX:NWS) have risen past 7 per cent today and the REA Group (ASX:REA) has also seen a rise. Orocobre (ASX:ORE) saw a fall in their shares today. As for the sectors, Healthcare led the way with Materials falling behind.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 6 points higher to finish at 6,590.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 44 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 7 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a lift of 30 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a fall of 0.2 per cent for tomorrow.

Broker moves

Citi currently rates WiseTech Global (ASX:WTC) as a Buy with a $32.77 target price. Over the next 12 months they expect strong ongoing top-line growth of 30 per cent, 23 er cent organic, 7 per cent acquisitive.

Company news

Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) today announced the acquisition of Catch Group Holdings. The online business model offers branded products on a first-party basis and a third-party online marketplace. Catch Group employ 400 people. Wesfarmers announced their intention to buy on 12th June 2019 for $230 million. Shares in Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) are 0.8 per cent higher at $39.11.

NetLinkz (ASX:NET) has announced that JAST - a distributor of NetLinkz’s products in China has entered into a partnership agreement with the wholly owned subsidiary of Beijing Digital Telecom in the Henan Province - Henan D. Beijing Digital Telecom Co. is one of China’s largest and most successful telecommunications companies with group sales revenue in 2018 $3 billion. Shares in NetLinkz (ASX:NET) are 2.3 per cent lower at $0.21.

One of Australia's largest diversified listed property groups, GPT Group (ASX:GPT) has reported a 52 per cent drop in its net profit after tax (NPAT) for the half-year to 30 June 2019, with the headline result hitting $352.6 million. Despite the result being hit by lower revaluations, it was better than CBA’s expectations of a $298 million profit for the HY.

JB Hi-Fi (ASX:JBH) reports their net profit after tax (NPAT) is up 7.1 per cent to $249.8 million, from $7.1 billion of sales. Last year it was $233.2 million. Total sales growth for FY19 was 3.5 per cent and EPS was up 7.1 per cent to 217.4 cents per share (cps).

Argo Investments (ASX:ARG) has announced a 33.7 per cent increase in full year profit to $292.7 million. The large increase in reported profit was significantly influenced by a one-off, non-cash income item of $36.1 million, due to the demerger of Coles Group from Wesfarmers.

Best and worst performers 

The best performing sector was Healthcare adding 1.2 per cent while the worst performing sector was Materials, shedding 1.5 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was JB Hi-Fi (ASX:JBH), rising 9.98 per cent to close at $30.75. Shares in News Corp (ASX:NWS) and REA Group (ASX:REA) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Orocobre (ASX:ORE), dropping 6.6 per cent to close at $2.81. Shares in Sandfire Resources (ASX:SFR) and Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) followed lower.

Asian markets

Mostly higher:Japan’s Nikkei is still closed, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.1 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.8 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,496 an ounce.
Iron ore price is steady at US$94.12
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 4.6 per cent.
Light crude is US$1.96 up at US$54.50 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 67.82 US cents.