ASX soars: Aus shares close 4.3% higher

Market Reports

by Ortenzia Borre

The Australian share market had a positive start at the open and continued to rally for the rest of the session with a stellar performance to finish 4.3 per cent up from Friday’s close. In the day’s breaking international news, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been admitted to hospital, 10 days after testing positive for COVID-19. Mr Johnson’s update came within hours of the Queen’s historic speech on the recent crisis and its personal and financial impacts. Corporate Travel Management (ASX:CTD) led the top 200 gains at the end of the session and Web Jet (ASX:WEB) led the losses for the day.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 219 points higher to finish at 5,287.

Futures market - all are in the green

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 872 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a lift of 96 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a rise of 316 points.
The ASX200 futures are eyeing a 234 point lift tomorrow morning.

Broker moves

Morgans?has rated Nanosonics (ASX:NAN) as?an Add.?The broker said the medical equipment company reported a strong March quarter and noted an unsurprisingly uncertain June quarter outlook. Management nonetheless highlighted a resilient consumables component, ongoing commitment to R&D, a review of expenses and a significant cash holding. Morgans also believes the current crisis will not change the longer term importance of high level disinfection and suggesting investors use volatility to add to positions. Target price is?$6.92?Current Price is?$5.97?Difference:?$0.95? Shares in Nanosonics (ASX:NAN) closed 3.5 per cent higher at $6.

Company news

Paradigm Biopharmaceuticals (ASX:PAR) is set to raise $35 million to fund its upcoming Phase III trials for its knee osteoarthritis?treatment drug Zilosul. The funds will be applied to the additional cost of the 2nd Phase 3 OA trial in which the company says will put them into a fully funded position until the end of 2022. Further guidance has been given by US healthcare regulator the FDA on the acceptable standard of the Phase III clinical trials in order to achieve potential commercial approval. Recently, the company also reassured investors saying its program was “unaffected” by the current COVID-19 crisis indicating scheduling for both patients and the company was on track. Shares in Paradigm Biopharmaceuticals (ASX:PAR) last traded at $1.69.and will resume trading on Wednesday.

Looking at some more headlines:

Flight Centre Travel Group (ASX:FLT) looks to raise $700 million.

Origin Energy (ASX:ORG) is set to maintain its energy markets earnings guidance of $1.4 - $1.5 billion

G8 Education (ASX:GEM) has extended its trading halt to forecast the impact of the Government Support Package amid the current crisis.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Energy adding 6 per cent while the sector with the fewest gains was adding Industrials 2.3 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Corporate Travel Management (ASX:CTD), rising 16.7 per cent to close at $9.22. Shares in Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) and Hub24 (ASX:HUB) followed.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Web Jet (ASX:WEB), dropping 8.9 per cent to close at $2.547 cents. Shares in Next DC (ASX:NXT) and IDP Education (ASX:IEL) followed lower.

Asian markets

Mostly higher: Japan’s Nikkei has added 4.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng also added 2.5 per cent and the Shanghai Composite is closed.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,625 an ounce.

Iron ore price lost 0.5 per cent to US$83.30.

Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 1.4 per cent.

Light crude is US$0.63 up at US$34.79 a barrel.

One Australian dollar is buying 60.43 US cents.