Fourth consecutive day of gains: ASX closes 0.8% higher

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

It has been a positive day of trade for the Australian share market hitting four consecutive days of gains. With a sell off around lunchtime the local bourse managed to close 0.8 per cent higher. Shares in Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX:URW) are on the up as shopping restrictions in Europe ease. Shares in Nufarm (ASX:NUF) meanwhile are declining. As for the sectors today Healthcare led the day and Energy fell lower.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 50 points higher to finish at 5,992.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 29 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a fall of 8 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a dip of 14 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 67 point rise tomorrow morning.

Local economic news

Australian retail turnover fell 17.7 per cent in April 2020, seasonally adjusted, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) due to Covid-19.

The trade surplus was $8.8 billion compared to consensus expectations for a $7.5 billion surplus. Exports were down 11 per cent in April, while imports were down 10 per cent.

Company news

Macmahon Holdings (ASX:MAH) has secured an expansion and three year extension of its work at the Byerwen coking coal mine in Queensland’s Bowen Basin. Macmahon has been providing open cut mining services at Byerwen since the establishment of the mine in November 2017, and employs more than 430 people on site. The mine is owned by Byerwen Coal Pty Ltd, a joint venture between QCoal Group and Japanese steel manufacturer, JFE Steel. If the contract is extended revenue could exceed $1 billion. Shares in Macmahon Holdings (ASX:MAH) closed flat at $0.27.

Splitit Payments (ASX:SPT) record monthly Merchant Sales Volume (MSV) of US$25.8 million in May, up 321 per cent compared to May 2019 and up 39 per cent compared to April 2020. The Company’s strong performance is the result of new large merchants being onboarded in 2020, consumers increasingly adopting Splitit’s solution to better manage their cash flow, and the growing shift to eCommerce.

Primewest (ASX:PWG) has acquired an 8.3 per cent strategic interest in Clime Investment Management Limited (ASX:CIW) via an underwritten placement. The proceeds of the placement will be used by Clime to acquire a financial planning group, Madison Financial Group. across all mainland states of Australia and in the west coast of the USA.

Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) has entered into a binding agreement with Aeris Resources (ASX:AIS) to sell the Cracow gold mine in Queensland for a total consideration of up to $125 million.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was healthcare adding 2.7 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 Unibail Rodamco Westfield (ASX:URW), rising 12 per cent to close at $5.49. Shares in Corporate Travel Management (ASX:CTD) and McMillan Shakespeare (ASX:MMS) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Nufarm (ASX:NUF), dropping 11.5 per cent to close at $4.86. Shares in Gold Road Resources (ASX:GOR) and Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST) followed lower.

Asian markets

Mixed: Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.4 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.1 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.1 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,700 an ounce.
Iron ore price is 0.1 down at US$101.22.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 0.7 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.58 lower at US$37.29 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 69.00US cents.