CBA (ASX:CBA) helped the market surge towards the close: ASX closed 0.4% higher

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

It has been a struggle of a day for the Australian share market after dropping at the open, it manage to gain closing 0.4 per cent higher. Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) shares did well today as did shares in Avita Medical (ASX:AVH). As for the sectors today, materials performed the best.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 19 points higher to finish at 5,421

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 35 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 11 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a lift of 45 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 29 point rise tomorrow morning.

Local economic news

The seasonally adjusted Wage Price Index (WPI) rose 0.5 per cent in the March quarter 2020 and 2.1 per cent through the year, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Today's data relates to the period shortly before restrictions were put in place to contain the spread of the coronavirus capturing wage information for the mid-month (February) of the March quarter.

Company news

360 Capital Group (ASX:TGP) has launched 360 Capital Credit Income Fund that will invest in middle market private credit opportunities in Australia and New Zealand.The Fund will invest in a diversified portfolio of private credit opportunities across geography, maturity, industry and loan term. The Fund is targeting a return of 4 per cent p.a. above the RBA Cash Rate (net of fees and costs) to be paid monthly. 360 Capital Group will co-invest up to $10 million of long-term capital in the Fund. Shares in 360 Capital Group (ASX:TGP) closed 1.2 per cent higher at $0.88.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) has entered into an agreement to sell a 55 per cent interest in Colonial First State to KKR, a global investment firm. CFS had approximately $135 billion of funds under administration. KKR has US$207 billion of assets under management. CBA is set to receive cash proceeds of approximately $1.7 billion from KKR.

Biotech Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) has successfully completed a capital raising of $138 million via a placement of 43 million shares to existing and new institutional investors at a price of $3.20 per share.

Sigma Healthcare (AXS:SIG) reports their wholesale sales have been accelerated by the Covid-19 volume growth. Excluding the Chemist Warehouse transition in each year, underlying volume for the first three months of this year is up over 30 per cent, with revenue also up around 30 per cent.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Materials adding 0.95 per cent while the worst performing sector was A-REITs, shedding 2.2 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS), rising 11.9 per cent to close at $0.24. Shares in Avita Medical (ASX:AVH) and Mayne Pharma (ASX:MYX) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Alumina (ASX:AWC), dropping 6.95 per cent to close at $1.41. Shares in Orocobre (ASX:ORE) and Harvey Norman Holdings (ASX:HVN) followed lower.

Asian markets

Mixed: Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.5 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.1 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has added 0.1 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,705 an ounce.
Iron ore price is 3.5 per cent higher at US$91.67.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 1.2 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.37 down at US$30.23 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 64.82 US cents.