ASX gains for 4th week, Financials rise 2.7% this week: Aus shares gain 0.2% Friday, 0.3% on week

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Aussie share market rises for the third straight day gaining 14 points higher or 0.2 per cent to finish at 6,669. Over the week, The benchmark index closed 22 points or 0.3 per cent higher, 2.9 per cent away from it all time high (30 July 2019), with a few companies sky rocketing. Credit Corp (ASX:CCP) shares hit a new all-time high, and Orica (ASX:ORI) shares trade at new multi-year highs. This week Financials gained the most 2.7 per cent, Utilites rose 1.7 per cent and Materials gained 1.2 per cent. 

From the get go we had positive leads. European Central Bank (ECB) announced it would cut the central bank’s main deposit rate by 10 basis points (0.10 per cent) to -0.5 per cent, as expected. Plus it announced it will introduce € 20 billion per month asset purchase program, known as quantitative easing, or a bond buying program, for as long as necessary.

Over the in US, President Donald Trump also said he would consider an interim trade deal but would prefer a full deal, just a day after he announced he’d delay the $250 billion of tariffs on Chinese goods, from 1 October, to 15 October.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 52 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 5 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a rise 19 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a rise of 0.2 per cent or 17 points.

Company news

Westpac (ASX:WBC) shares hit a new year high yesterday $29.97, with its shares closing at $29.69. Citi marked Westpac (ASX:WBC) as a ‘buy’ but citied it expects the big four bank’s final dividend to be cut by 10 per cent on announcing its FY19 result. The market is already expecting a cut of over 6 per cent. But Citi says it’s a ‘buy’ based on its strong dividend yield post-cut, that it’s leveraged to a stabilising property market, among other reasons. Citi’s target price (TP) is $31.25. Shares in Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC) closed 0.1 per cent higher at $29.69.

Rural Funds Group (ASX:RFF) has issued legal proceedings against short seller, Bonitas Research and its principal, Matthew Wiechert. The court documents filed today in the Supreme Court of New South Wales, say the allegations by Bonitas and Matthew Wiechert against the company contravene four sections of the Corporations Act 2001 and a section of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act. The responsible entity for RFF, RFM also alleges it suffered loss and damages at the hands of Bonitas Research report on 6 August, which caused RFF’s shares to drop 42 per cent on that day. However, RFF shares clawed back some of that. The drop was on the back of Bonitas alleging the value of RFF’s business was zero. Later, EY’s independent investigation found Bonitas’ claims were not not substantiated’.

JB Hi-Fi (ASX:JBH) shares continued to climb today, setting another new all-time high. Today it issued a report showing statutory NPAT of $249.8 million, a rise of 7.1 per cent , whie its sales for the year grew to $7.1 billion, a jump of 3.5 per cent on 2018.

The ACCC has proposed to authorise Virgin Australia (ASX:VAH) to more closely cooperate with Virgin Atlantic on flights between Australia and the UK and Ireland, via Hong Kong, Los Angeles and any other future mutual connecting points.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Industrials, adding 0.9 per cent while the worst performing sector was Information Technology, shedding 0.8 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was NIB Holdings (ASX:NHF), rising 4.5 per cent to close at $7.49. Shares in Qantas Airways (ASX:QAN) and Ausdrill (ASX:ASL) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Pro Medicus (ASX:PME) dropping 5.7 per cent to close at $28.00. Shares in Appen (ASX:APX) and G8 Education (ASX:GEM) followed lower.

Asian markets

Asian are higher: Japan’s Nikkei has gained 1.1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has gained 0.5 per cent and the Shanghai Composite is closed.

Wall Street

Overnight, the Dow Jones notched its 7th day of straight gains, with US equities approaching record levels. The tech sector overnight gained the most, with the Nasdaq up 0.3 per cent, taking it to be 1.7 per cent off its record high.

Wall Street wrapped up the last four trading days higher. The Dow Jones gained 1.4 per cent, the S&P500 gained 1 per cent and the Nasdaq gained 1.1 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,499 an ounce.
Iron ore price is trading 4.9 per cent higher at US$99.30.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 3.7 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.62 down at US$55.05 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 68.73 US cents.

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