72% of Australian businesses report reduced cash flow: Aus shares close 1.4% higher

Market Reports

by Ortenzia Borre

The Australian share market fell at the open before rising at noon and continuing to rally closing 1.4 per cent higher at the end of trade.
Afterpay Touch Group (ASX:APT), led the top 200 gains at for the session up almost 24 per cent and AP Eagers (ASX:APE) led the losses for the day down over 7 per cent.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 74 points higher to finish at 5,320.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 210 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 19 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a fall of 62 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 74 point rise tomorrow morning.

Local economic news 

The ABS has released figures reporting businesses expect ongoing COVID-19 financial impacts.

Almost three quarters of Australian businesses (72%) reported that reduced cash flow is expected to have an adverse impact on business over the next two months.

ABS Head of Industry Statistics John Shepherd said reduced demand for goods and services was expected to impact about seven in ten businesses (69%) over the next two months, while two in five businesses (41%) expect a reduced ability to pay operating expenses. 

The ABS has also reported that dwelling approvals were stable in March rising 1.3 per cent.

Broker moves

Macquarie has rated Resmed (ASX:RMD) as an Underperform. The March quarter net profit was ahead of Macquarie's expectations which was supported by increased ventilator demand. However the broker notes that sleep apnoea diagnosis rates have declined by double digits because of the closure of sleep labs. The broker assesses multiples remain elevated and an Underperform rating is retained. Target rises to $19.00 from $18.60. Shares in Resmed (ASX:RMD) closed 1.8 per cent higher at $24.61.

Looking at some more headlines:

Westpac (ASX:WBC) has confirmed no dividend will be paid this June.

Transurban (ASX:TCL) reports a 44% traffic decline.

Lynas Corporation (ASX:LYC) has restarted its Lynas Malaysia plant.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Info Tech adding 5 per cent while the worst performing sector was Energy shedding 0.2 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Afterpay Touch Group (ASX:APT), rising 23.8 per cent to close at $36.10. Shares in Qube Holdings (ASX:QUB) and Gold Road Resources(ASX:GOR) followed.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was AP Eagers (ASX:APE), dropping 7.3 per cent to close at $4.31 cents. Shares in Ooh! Media (ASX:OML) and Flight centre Travel Group (ASX:FLT) followed lower.

Asian markets

All are closed apart from  Hong Kong’s Hang Seng which has lost 4 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,702 an ounce.
Iron ore price is flat at US$84.04.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 2.5 per cent.
Light crude is US$1.06 down at US$21.23 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 63.84 US cents.