Construction sector jobs dwindled: ASX closed 0.4% higher

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

It has been a positive day of trade for the Australian share market closing 0.4 per cent higher. Boral (ASX:BLD) identified certain financial irregularities in its North American Windows business causing their shares to drop today – more on this later. Bega (ASX:BGA) also dropped today. Shares in Caresales.com (ASX:CAR) shot up today as did Beach Energy. As for the sectors today Healthcare finished the day on a high as Materials fell lower - the only sector in the red.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 24 points higher to finish at 6,707.

Over the week we closed 2.1 per cent lower or 139 points lower.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 30 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 4 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a lift of 15 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 28 point rise for Monday morning.

Local Economic News

The Australian Industry Group/Housing Industry Association Performance of Construction Index (PCI) report says activity fell 3.9 points on the previous month to 40.0 - a decline that leaves the measure well below the 50-point mark separating expansion and contraction.

Company news

The Scentre Group (ASX:SCG) today announced it has acquired a 50 per cent interest in Garden City Booragoon, Perth for $570 million. Booragoon was 100 per cent owned by AMP Capital Diversified Property Fund, who will now become Scentre Group’s 50 per cent joint venture partner. Westfield Booragoon is one of Perth’s ‘major activity centres’ and presents significant redevelopment opportunities. The acquisition price represents a stabilised economic yield of approximately 5.5 per cent. Shares in Scentre Group (ASX:SCG) closed 0.3 per cent higher at $3.86.

SeaLink Travel Group (ASX:SLK) has satisfied the FIRB Approval condition contained in the Securities Sale Agreements for the acquisition of Transit Systems Group. The Directors of SeaLink recommend that shareholders vote in favour of the proposed acquisition. Closed 1 per cent lower at $5.05.

Boral (ASX:BLD) has identified certain financial irregularities in its North American Windows business.This involves misreporting in relation to inventory levels and raw material and labour costs at their Windows plants. It looks likely this will result in a one-off impact on earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) in the order of US$20 million to US$30 million.

Wattle Health (ASX:WHA) has entered into a 10-year supply agreement with Chemist Warehouse for its organic nutritional dairy range, including its Uganic infant formula and the Little Innoscents organic skin care range.

Bubs (ASX:BUB) Australia has raised $30 million placement the placement was priced at 95 cents a share and a $5 million share purchase plan.

IPOs

Financial technology company Tyro Payments (ASX:TYR) provider of EFTPOS payments solutions, small business loans and banking products to Australian businesses.issued at $2.65, opened at $3.30 and closed trading at $3.38.

Exploration company Macarthur Minerals (ASX:MIO) issued at $0.25 opened at $0.28 and closed at $0.31.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Healthcare adding 1.1 per cent while the worst performing sector was Materials, shedding 0.1 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Carsales.com (ASX:CAR), rising 4 per cent to close at $16.74. Shares in Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) and Avita Medical (ASX:AVH) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Boral (ASX:BLD), dropping 6.3 per cent to close at $4.61. Shares in Pro Medicus (ASX:PME) and Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG) followed lower.

Asian markets

Higher: Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has gained 0.6 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.04 per cent.

US Indices over the week are all lower. Wall Street over the past four closed lower Dow Jones lost 1.4 per cent, S&P lost 0.8 per cent and the NASDAQ lost 1.1 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,476 an ounce.
Iron ore price is 0.5 per cent lower at US$88.65.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 0.6 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.10 lower at US$58.33 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 68.44 US cents.