The Australian share market rose at the open and continued to rally closing 1.03 per cent up at the end of trade. The Australian Government has gained worldwide support with more than 100 countries co-sponsoring a motion to call an independent inquiry into the coronavirus. Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne hailed the move as "a win for the international community and Australia".
Saracen Mineral Holdings (ASX:SAR), led the top 200 gains at for the session, up over 11 per cent and Austal (ASX:ASB) led the losses for the day.
The S&P/ASX200 index
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 56 points higher to finish at 5,461.
Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 249 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 30 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a lift of 85 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 60 point rise tomorrow morning.
Ord Minnett has rated Ramsay Health Care (ASX:RHC) as an Accumulate. The broker says, Ramsay Health Care may not opt for viability funding anymore with the National Cabinet announcing a three-stage resumption in elective surgery. Although Ord Minnett says they’ll wait for more information, given the backlog of cases, and is confident the company will see a rapid return to profitability. The ‘extended arm’ agreement with the NSW government could become an important revenue source for the healthcare provider. Shares in Ramsay Health Care (ASX:RHC) closed 3.1 per cent higher at $66.09.
Local economic news
If you’re feeling lonely – you are not alone according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey.
Loneliness was the most widely reported source of personal stress for Australians during April affecting 28 per cent of women and 16 per cent of men.
Around one in five people (19 per cent) also reported that they were experiencing difficulties maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which was more of a problem for those aged 18 to 64 years (22 per cent).
Looking at some more company headlines from the day's news:
Virgin Australia Group (ASX:VAH) administrators this morning announced they’ve shortlisted a small number of parties to be invited into the next stage of the process to find a new owner for the airline with the AFR reporting the four contenders.
Auckland Airport (ASX:AIA) total passenger volumes decreased by 97.5% in April 2020.
Ramsay Health Care (ASX:RHC) finalised an agreement with Western Australia to make its facilities and services available during the COVID- 19 pandemic.
Best and worst performers of the day
The best performing sector was Materials adding 4.1 per cent while the worst performing sector was Financials shedding 1.2 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Saracen Mineral Holdings (ASX:SAR), rising 11.3 per cent to close at $5.62. Shares in AP Eagers (ASX:APE) and Elders (ASX:ELD) followed.
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Austal (ASX:ASB), dropping 4 per cent to close at $2.91 cents. Shares in Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX:URW) and Southern Cross Media Group (ASX:SXL) followed lower.
All higher: Japan’s Nikkei has gained 0.5 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng also gained 0.4 per cent and the Shanghai Composite is 0.6 per cent up.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,762 an ounce.
Iron ore price added 1.6 per cent to US$93.65.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 6.8 per cent.
Light crude is US$1.04 up at US$33.05 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 64.32 US cents.