The Australian share market rose at the open and continued to rally closing 1.3 per cent up at the end of today’s trade. Nearmap (ASX:NEA) led the top 200 gains for the session, up over 16 per cent, and Jumbo Interactive (ASX:JIN) led the losses for the day.
The S&P/ASX200 index
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 76 points higher to finish at 5851.
Dow futures are suggesting a lift of 196 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a gain of 10 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a fall of 7 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 93 point rise tomorrow morning.
Local Economic News
COVID-19 has forced 70 per cent of Australian businesses to change how they operate with 72% reporting a decrease in revenue, that’s according to results from the fourth Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) survey on Business Impacts of COVID-19. The survey also found that almost three quarters of businesses accessed support measures as a result of COVID-19. This included accessing wage subsidies (55%) and other government support measures (38%). Looking ahead, government restrictions are expected to continue to have an effect, with businesses reporting they expect some level of impact from social distancing measures (71%), restrictions on trading (63%) and travel restrictions (50%) in the next two months.
Ord Minnett has rated Japara Healthcare (ASX:JHC) as a Hold. An employee of the aged care operator has contracted COVID-19 although the company has confirmed no residents have been infected with the virus. Occupancy levels have fallen leaving the company to write down the carrying value of its goodwill. The broker has increased earnings forecasts for FY20 but reduced it for FY21. The current year is being boosted by the government's one-off funding program but this will end in FY21 and earnings are expected to drop because of lower occupancy. Shares in Japara Healthcare (ASX:JHC) closed 0.9 per cent higher at $0.58.
Looking at some more headlines:
Blackmores (ASX:BKL) has completed its $92m institutional placement
WiseTech Global (ASX:WTC) announced it has renegotiated earnout arrangements for a number of its strategic acquisitions.
Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) the company that develops cellular medicines for inflammatory diseases, has reported a net loss of $US45.3 million in the nine months to the end of March.
Best and worst performers of the day
The best performing sector was Financials, adding 3.1 per cent while the worst performing sector was Energy, shedding 1.1 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Nearmap (ASX:NEA), rising 16.7 per cent to close at $2.24. Shares in Virgin Money UK (ASX:VUK) and GWA Group (ASX:GWA) followed.
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Jumbo Interactive (ASX:JIN), dropping 7.2 per cent to close at $11.25 cents. Shares in Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) and Wisetech Global (ASX:WTC) followed.
Japan’s Nikkei has gained 2.1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 1.4 per cent and the Shanghai Composite is 0.3 per cent down.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,719 an ounce.
Iron ore price added 0.1 per cent to US$95.37.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 1.4 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.83 down at US$32.86 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 66.24 US cents.