Rate-cut hopes fire ASX up to 7-month high: Aus shares close 0.5% higher

Market Reports

by Michael Luu


Investor appetite was strong during today’s session. Traders were predicting a cash rate cut next month, as RBA Governor Philip Lowe did not rule out monetary easing in his speech this morning. The ASX200 defied Wall Street headwinds to close in the 6200s zone for the first time in 7 months, courtesy of vibrant gains by big banks and mining heavyweights. The tech sector’s 8-day winning streak finally came to an end, as big Fintech firms Afterpay and Xero dragged the index down to the worst performing sector position. All in all, the Aussie stock market is so far outperforming other Asian counterparts.

S&P/ASX200

At the closing bell, the ASX200 closed 0.5 per cent higher or 31 points up at 6210.

Futures

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 65 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 8 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a fall of 68 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a rise of 35 points tomorrow morning.

Local economic news

The unemployment rate increased to 6.9% in September, 0.1 per cent below consensus. Around 29,500 jobs were lost during the period. However, the total number of monthly hours worked had increased by nearly 9 million hours, as casual work and became more popular.

Company news

Mining corporation Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) has released an optimistic quarterly sales update pertaining to a 13 per cent increase over the same period last year.
The coal producer achieved a total coal sales volume of 6 megatonnes in the quarter leading up to September 30. September alone saw an increase in managed saleable coal of 2 per cent year-on-year. Whitehaven (ASX:WHC)’s analysts have attributed the strong sales performance to high demand from across Asia. The news came as a surprise, amidst speculation that China is pulling the plug on coal imports. Shares in Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) closed 11.6 per cent higher at $1.06.

Imaging solutions provider, Pro Medicus (ASX:PME) has secured a $10-million deal with Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich to provide its Visage-7 technology.

International study facilitator IDP Education (ASX:IEL) has received notification from parent company Education Australia about discussions with 38 university shareholders about capital realisation options.


Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Energy gaining 2.5 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Information Technologies losing 1.5 per cent. The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) as mentioned earlier, followed by shares in Pro Medicus (ASX:PME) and Eagers Automotive(ASX:APE) The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Zip Co (ASX:Z1P) dropping 7.5 per cent to $7.01, followed by shares in IDP Education (ASX:IEL) and Nearmap (ASX:NEA).

Asian markets

Mixed: Japan’s Nikkei is 0.5 per cent lower, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is down 1.1 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.1 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,901 an ounce.
Iron ore price is 1.3 per cent down to US$119.52.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of nearly 1.9 per cent.
Light crude is steady at US$41.34 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.34 US cents.