Western Areas (ASX:WSA) shares rise after exploration: ASX closes 0.2% higher

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

After some movement before mid-morning trade, the Australian share market spent the afternoon quite flat. managing to close 0.2 per cent higher. Shares in Western Areas (ASX:WSA) continue to rise today after reports of significant widths of nickel and copper in South Australia. Shares in Challenger (ASX:CGF) dropped today - they announced they had successfully completed the $270 million fully underwritten institutional placement. As for the sectors today REITS closed higher and consumer staples fell lower.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 10 points higher to finish at 5,954

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 103 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a fall of 9 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a dip of 32 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 7 point rise tomorrow morning.

Local economic news

The value of imports and exports of goods both declined in May 2020, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) preliminary international trade in goods figures. The value of imports fell $2.2 billion or 9 per cent from the revised April figure of $24.1 billion to $21.9 billion, and also declined $4.8 billion or 18 per cent on the May 2019 figure. The decline in imports was driven by a large drop in the value of imports of both road vehicles and petroleum.

Company news

SCA Property Group (ASX:SCP) reports the total value of their Investment Properties has decreased by $94.6 million or 2.9 per cent, from $3.2 billion as at December 2019 to $3.1 billion as at June 2020. The valuation decrease can be attributed to four main drivers being capitalisation rate softening of 5bps from 6.46 per cent at December 2019 to 6.51% at June 2020; COVID-19 once off rent relief adjustments of $27.4m; and - Discounted cash flow valuations adopting more conservative let-up assumptions and lower market rent growth. There were no acquisitions, developments or disposals during the period. Shares in SCA Property Group (ASX:SCP) closed flat at $2.32.

Cromwell Property Group (ASX:CMW) advises that ARA Asset Management has announced its intention to make a proportional off market takeover bid to acquire 29 per cent of all Cromwell stapled securities that ARA does not already hold. They want to acquire 29 out of every 100 stapled securities in Cromwell for $0.90 per stapled security.

Woolworths (ASX:WOW) released a trading update today showing expected earnings before interest and tax to fall between between $3.2 billion and $3.25 billion. Financial year 2020 expected pre-tax significant items of $591 million compared to the second half of $460 million.

Crown Resorts (ASX:CWN) announced today that on Saturday Crown Perth will re-commence operations of its casino and gaming floor food and beverage outlets under temporary restrictions agreed with the Western Australian Government.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was REITS adding 1.3 per cent while the worst performing sector was Consumer Staples, shedding 0.6 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Western Areas (ASX:WSA) rising 16 per cent to $2.68, followed by shares in Cromwell Property Group(ASX:CMW) and AMP (ASX:AMP).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Challenger (ASX:CGF) dropping 9.8 per cent to $4.80, followed by shares in Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) and Austal (ASX:ASB).

Asian markets

Higher: Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.6 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has gained 0.7 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.1 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,752 an ounce.
Iron ore price is 0.7 down at US$101.75.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 0.1 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.22 lower at US$40.90 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 69.07US cents.