Safe haven gold drops: ASX closed 0.5% higher

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

It has been a positive day of trade for the Australian share market closing the week 0.5 per cent higher. AMP (ASX:AMP) rose over 5 per cent. Cooper Energy (ASX:COE) also rose and Speedcast International (ASX:SDA) also did well today.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 34 points higher to finish at 6,647 - just 200 points shy of its record high.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 49 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 4 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a lift of 5 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 41 point rise Monday morning.

Economic news

The AiG released the performance of construction results for August showing the Index registered 44.6 points (seasonally adjusted). This was an increase of 5.5 points from July, indicating an easing in the construction industry’s overall rate of decline. It also signaled the industry’s slowest rate of contraction in five months.

Company news

The Board of Blue Sky Alternatives Access Fund (ASX:BAF) was today told that all the interests in the Atira student accommodation portfolio will be sold. BAF has invested over $24 and a half million across eight funds in the Atira student accommodation portfolio over the period since December 2014. Shares in Blue Sky Alternatives Access Fund (ASX:BAF) are 2.4 per cent higher at $0.85.

The Board of The Reject Shop (ASX:TRS) is pleased to announce Mr Steven Fisher as the next Chairman of TRS on and from 1 October 2019. He will replace Bill Stevens who will resign as Chairman at the end of the month. Mr Fisher, is a current independent non-executive director of The Reject Shop. He is also currently the non-executive chairman of Breville Group (ASX BRG). Shares in The Reject Shop (ASX:TRS) are 0.8 per cent lower at $1.87.

Westpac (ASX:WBC) today confirmed that it has received a class action filed against its subsidiary companies, BT Funds Management (BTFM) and Westpac Life Insurance Services (WLIS) filed by law firm Slater and Gordon.

Cooper Energy (ASX:COE) say the exploration well Annie-1 has made a new gas field discovery in the Otway Basin offshore Victoria. This is the first offshore gas exploration well they have drilled in Australia and the first of an $80 million drill campaign by the Joint Venture with Mitsui this year.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Infotech adding 2.2 per cent while the worst performing sector was Real Estate Investment Trust, shedding 1.3 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Speedcast International (ASX:SDA), rising 9.6 per cent to close at $1.26. Shares in Cooper Energy (ASX:COE) and AMP (ASX:AMP) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Pro medicus (ASX:PME), dropping 12.1 per cent to close at $33.38. Shares in Charter Hall Group (ASX:CHC) and Saracen Mineral Holdings (ASX:SAR) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.4 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.2 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.03 per cent.

Wall Street

Wrapped up our four trading days this week higher: The Dow Jones added 1.2 per cent, The S&P 500 added 1.7 per cent and the tech heavy Nasdaq gained 1.9 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading lower at US$1,516 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 1.2 per cent to US$90.18.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 2.7 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.25 up at US$56.17 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 68.23 US cents.