New Hope (ASX:NHC) served with HCA special leave application: Aus shares close 0.2% higher

Market Reports

by Katrina Bullock

It’s been an upbeat day of trade, with the ASX200 finishing 0.2 per cent higher despite a mid-session dip. This marks the 5th consecutive session of gains for the local bourse. The Materials sector led the gains, bolstered by strong performances from Silver Lake Resources (ASX:SLR) and Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG).

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 15 points higher to finish at 7,080.

Futures markets 

Dow futures are suggesting a lift of 19 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of around 1 point.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a rise of 6 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 15 point rise tomorrow morning.

Broker moves

Citi rates AMP (ASX:AMP) as a sell, and has reduced its 12-month price target down to $1.70. The broker notes that AMP has recently generated $1.5 billion in flows into high-interest deposits, suggesting the damage to its brand may be easing. Citi remains cautious about the performance of the company's bank division, despite the merger with Australian wealth management. Shares in AMP (ASX:AMP) closed 0.8 per cent lower at $1.92.

Company news

New Hope Corporation (ASX:NHC) and its subsidiaries have been served with applications seeking special leave to appeal to the High Court. On 20 December 2019, the New South Wales Court of Appeal confirmed the Supreme Court’s declaration that the company has not guaranteed the debts of Northern Energy Corporation or Colton Coal under its deed of cross guarantee. Colton Coal is currently in liquidation. The applications which seek to appeal the New South Wales Court of Appeal decision, were served by Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal, NEC and Colton Coal. Shares in New Hope Corporation (ASX:NHC) closed 0.5 per cent lower at $2.06.

Gentrack Group (ASX:GTK) has downgraded its outlook for the 2020 financial year. Forecast revenue has decreased significantly and the company now expects EBITDA for the 2020 financial year to be between 8 million and 12 million New Zealand dollars.

Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG) has forward sold an additional 37,200 ounces of gold at an average price of US$1,562 per ounce.

Diversified online retailer, Kogan.com (ASX:KGN) has recorded the highest half yearly gross sales and gross profit in the company’s history. Gross sales were up more than 16 per cent and gross profit grew by more than 9 per cent compared to the first half of the 2019 financial year.

Shares in Nib Holdings (ASX:NHF) were hit hard today following the company decision to downgrade its underlying operating profit expectation by $30 million for the 2020 financial year.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Materials adding 1.1 per cent while the worst performing sector was Consumer Discretionary, shedding 0.6 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Silver Lake Resources (ASX:SLR), rising 6.7 per cent to close at $1.51. Shares in Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) and Polynovo (ASX:PNV) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was nib Holdings (ASX:NHF), dropping 12.7 per cent to close at $5.71. Shares in Jumbo Interactive (ASX:JIN) and The Star Entertainment Group (ASX:SGR) followed lower.

Asian markets

Mixed: Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.4 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has added 0.5 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,560 an ounce.
Iron ore price has gained 1.1 per cent to US$97.03.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a lift of around 1 per cent.
Light crude is 5 cents higher up at US$58.58 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 68.84 US cents.