CIMIC (ASX:CIM) selected for two new contracts worth $164m: ASX closes 1.1% higher

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market shot up at the open and managed to stabilise closing 1.1 per cent higher. Pinnacle Investment Management (ASX:PNI) shares rose after they reported net profit from continuing operations up 37 per cent to $13.8 million. Service Stream (ASX:SSM) shares saw a decline today after they reported their telecommunications revenue was lower than prior corresponding period. As for the sectors today Infotech led the day and Utilities fell lower.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 73 points higher to finish at 7,049.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 215 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 20 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a lift of 71 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 73 point rise for tomorrow morning.

Local economic news

Retail turnover fell 0.5 per cent in December 2019, seasonally adjusted, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Retail Trade figures. This follows a rise of 1.0 per cent in November 2019.

Company news

CIMIC Group (ASX:CIM) company CPB Contractors has been selected to deliver upgrades to two major regional highway projects totalling $164 million. The South Gippsland Highway Upgrade is funded by the Victorian and Australian governments and will involve the realignment of the highway to improve driver safety and provide more reliable journeys. Both projects are currently underway, with both expected to be complete in 2022. Shares in CIMIC Group (ASX:CIM) closed 3 per cent lower at $30.

Protection solutions company Ansell (ASX:ANN) has bought a 50 per cent stake in a Malaysian gloves maker for $13.3 million. Careplus Malaysia is a manufacturer of surgical and examination gloves, with annual sales of $56.4 million.

The Coles Group (ASX:COL) has upgraded its profit guidance after reporting their 2020 half year results. The success of the Christmas campaign exceeded expectations with Supermarkets delivering comparable sales growth of 3.6 per cent in the second quarter and 2.0 per cent for the first half.

And office landlord Dexus (ASX:DXS) report net profit after tax of $994.2 million, up 36.9 per cent. This is primarily due to net revaluation gains of investment properties being higher than those recognised in the previous corresponding period.

Best and worst performers 

The best performing sector was Energy adding 1.6 per cent while the worst performing sector was Real Estate Investment Trust, shedding 0.3 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Pinnacle Investment Management Group (ASX:PNI) rising 11.2 per cent to $5.57, followed by shares in Janus Henderson Group (ASX:JHG) and Elders (ASX:ELD).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Service Stream (ASX:SSM) dropping 9.1 per cent to $2.50, followed by shares in Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) and Blackmores (ASX:BKL)

Asian markets

Higher: Japan’s Nikkei has added 2.9 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has gained 2.5 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has added 1.3 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,555 an ounce.
Iron ore price is 2.9 per cent lower at US$81.31.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 1.5 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.42 up at US$51.17 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 67.58US cents.

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