Aussie shares set fresh highs and come within reach of 7000 level: ASX closes 0.5% higher

Market Reports

by Anna Napoli

Its been a positive day of trade for the local market with shares hitting a new record high and closing within 13 points of a key 7000 level. The push higher comes ahead of the US-China trade deal signing ceremony overnight. The local bourse is having its best start to any year since 1987. The S&P/ASX 200 is currently up 4.47 per cent for the year to date. Today, all sectors bar consumer staples finished higher led by a 0.9 per cent lift in industrials. Gold stocks outperformed with Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) up by 5.5 per cent, Newcrest (ASX:NCM) up by 3 per cent and Northern Star (ASX:NST) rising by almost 3 per cent.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 33 points higher 0.5 per cent to finish at 6,995.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 72 points.
S&P 500 futures have fallen 7 points.
The Nasdaq futures are down 25 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 21 point rise tomorrow morning.

Company news

Citi has maintained a neutral rating on Pendal Group (ASX:PDL) but has raised its target price to $8.20 from $7.90 due to higher market multiples. The broker says FY20 and FY21 estimates for earnings per share have been reduced by 6 per cent and 3 per cent respectively. Citi forecasts a full year FY20 dividend of 44.10 cents and EPS of 53.00 cents. Shares in Pendal Group (ASX:PDL) closed 0.9 per cent lower at $8.45.

Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG) has sold its Ravenswood Gold Mine in Queensland to a consortium comprising EMR Capital and Golden Energy & Resources for up to $300 million.

New Century Resources (ASX:NCZ) has sold its 49 per cent interest in the Lawn Hill & Riversleigh Pastoral Holding Company to Waanyi SPC for a total consideration of $9.8 million.

Software company, Gentrack Group (ASX:GTK) has plummeted by 25 per cent after the company warned of further difficult trading conditions.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was industrials adding 0.9 per cent while the worst performing sector was consumer staples, shedding 0.2 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is St Barbara (ASX:SBM), rising 8.1 per cent to $2.93, followed by shares in Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) and Elders (ASX:ELD).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) falling 7.7 per cent to $0.36, followed by shares in Orocobre (ASX: ORE) and Western Areas (ASX:WSA).

Asian markets

Lower: Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.5 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 0.9 and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.7 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,553 an ounce.
Iron ore price has gained 1.1 per cent to US$97.03.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.2 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.10 down at US$58.16 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 68.96 US cents.