Banks play Cupid on Valentine’s Day: Aus shares close 0.4% higher

Market Reports

by Michael Luu

There was plenty of love in the air today, as the Australian share market gained momentum after Midday to close 0.4 per cent higher. It was banking giants NAB (ASX:NAB) and Commonwealth (ASX:CBA) that played Cupid and shot the market up, following 1H20 results exceeding expectations. Financials were among the strongest gainers, with Magellan (ASX:MFG) and Pinnacle (ASX:PNI) both finishing the day on a positive note. Meanwhile, Energy went the other way, as Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) weighed down the sector.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 27 points higher to finish at 7130. Over the week, Aussie shares have added 1.5 per cent or 108 points.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 53 points
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 7 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a lift of 33 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 38 point rise for Monday morning.

Company news

Petroleum exploration and production giant Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) has won a long-running arbitration case over the Sangomar oil project in Senegal. The opposing side in the dispute was junior oil explorer FAR (ASX:FAR). Having already owned 15 per cent of Sangomar, FAR argued that it had a pre-emption right to acquire the project, before the project was offered to other parties. Woodside paid US$430 million to acquire a 25 per cent stake in Sangomar. The International Court of Arbitration ruled against FAR’s argument, securing Woodside’s foothold in this Senegalese petroleum venture. Shares in Woodside closed 2.7 per cent lower at $32.83.

Centuria Capital Group (ASX:CNI) says their subsidiary, Centuria Property Funds has settled its Parramatta office tower for $105.3 million, following the completion of the closed-ended fund’s five-year term. 2-10 Wentworth Street, Parramatta was acquired in December 2014 for $45.1 million.

NetLinkz (ASX:NET) today announced Beijing iLinkAll Science and Technology Co. has been selected by Beijing authorities as an approved provider of Remote Office collaboration solutions. This an initiative to fight the coronavirus and enable people in Beijing to work and receive information safely and securely.

IPOs

Globally recognised leading end-to-end transaction management solution company, thedocyard (ASX:TDY) started trading today. They were issued at $0.20, opened at $0.25 and closed 24.5 cents.
Gold producer Westgold Resources’ Northern Territory spin-off Castile Resources (ASX:CST) started trading today with an issue price of $0.20 and opened at $0.26, to close at $0.19.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Financials adding 1.3 per cent while the worst performing sector was Energy, shedding 1.2 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Pinnacle (ASX:PNI), rising 4.7 per cent to close at $6.23. Shares in Avita Medical (ASX:AVH) and Washington H Soul Pattinson (ASX:SOL) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Southern Cross Media Group (ASX:SXL), dropping 5.6 per cent to close at $0.77. Shares in Pro Medicus (ASX:PME) and Unibail-Rodamco -Westfield (ASX:URW) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.6 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has gained 0.6 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has added 0.5 per cent.

US Markets

Over the week, the Dow Jones has gained 1.1 per cent, while the S&P500 has added 1.4 per cent and the Nasdaq has risen by 2 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,575 an ounce.
Iron ore price is 1 per cent higher at US$88.56.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 0.2 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.12 up at US$51.78 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 67.18 US cents.