Mineral Commodities (ASX:MRC) completes Skaland Graphite acquisition: Aus shares close 0.7% higher

Market Reports

by Katrina Bullock

Aussie investors are collectively breathing a sigh of relief today. The market opened higher, saw a bullish rally in the first 15 minutes of trade and tracked sideways for most of the day to close 0.7 per cent higher. Every sector managed to snap some gains. Info Tech, Healthcare and Communications were the front runners. Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals (ASX:CUV) and St Barbara (ASX:SBM) were stand out stocks today following their market announcements.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 47 points higher to finish at 6,564.

Futures markets

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 93 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 12 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a fall of 31 points.
And back home the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 51 point rise tomorrow.

Economic news

The AIG Australian Performance of Construction Index fell to 42.6 in September from 44.6 in the previous month. This was slightly better than the market’s expectation of 42.5. This was the thirteenth consecutive month of contraction for the construction index.

Broker moves

Morgan Stanley rated Jumbo Interactive (ASX:JIN) as overweight with a 12 month price target of $24. This comes as the broker updates proprietary estimates of lottery ticket volumes, noting 13 jackpots in 13 weeks. The company did not provide guidance for the 2020 financial year at its results and the broker envisages scope for an update on the outlook at the upcoming AGM. Shares in Jumbo Interactive (ASX:JIN) closed 0.1 per cent higher at $26.92.

Company news

Exploration and mining company, Mineral Commodities (ASX:MRC), announced the successful completion of the acquisition of Skaland Graphite. MRC paid approximately $4.5 million US dollar upfront, with an additional $4.2 million US dollars plus interest payable over a five-year term. Skaland is the highest grade flake graphite operation in the world and largest producing mine in Europe. Acquisition provides MRC with immediate European graphite production of up to 10,000 tonnes per annum with regulatory approval to increase to 16,000. Shares in Mineral Commodities (ASX:MRC) closed flat at 21 cents.

Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals (ASX:CUV) made solid gains today reported that its CEO Philippe Wolgen will stay with the company for three more years.

Banking and wealth management group MyState (ASX:MYS) has appointed Gary Dickson as Interim CFO.

St Barbara also found itself on the best performing list today after announcing that a St Barbara (ASX:SBM) joint venture with advanced gold explorer c has completed a soil and rock chip geochemical sampling program across its Horn Island project.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Info Tech adding 1.4 per cent while the worst performing sector was Financials, gaining 0.4 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Washington H Soul Pattinson & Company (ASX:SOL), rising 7.3 per cent to close at $22.35. Shares in Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals (ASX:CUV) and Wisetech Global (ASX:WTC) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Speedcast International (ASX:SDA), dropping 4.4 per cent to close at $1.08. Shares in Mayne Pharma Group (ASX:MYX) and CYBG (ASX:CYB) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.2 per cent.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and the Shanghai Composite are closed.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,505 an ounce.
Light crude is US$0.36 higher at US$52.81 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 67.48 US cents.