US stimulus hopes boost markets: ASX closes 0.1% higher

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market rose at the open and managed to close the day 0.1 per cent higher. Shares in Orora (ASX:ORA) are up as they report their first quarter US earnings are doing well. Shares in Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) and Graincorp (ASX:GNC) didn’t fare so well. As for the sectors today Energy led the day and Utilities came bottom of the pile.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 closed 0.1 per cent higher, or 7 points higher, at 6,192 points.

Futures market

US futures are all higher.
The Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 158 points.
S&P500 futures are eyeing a gain of 21 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a rise of 67 points.
And the SPI futures are eyeing a rise of 7 points tomorrow morning.

Local economic news

Retail sales have fallen 1.5 per cent on a seasonally adjusted basis according to preliminary data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Company news

Macmahon Holdings (ASX:MAH) has been selected as the preferred tenderer to provide equipment hire and maintenance services at the Foxleigh mine in Queensland from 1 March 2021. The Foxleigh mine is an open cut, truck and excavator operation in the Bowen Basin which produces low volatile PCI coal for Asian steel mill customers. Macmahon estimates this work will generate approximately $250 million in revenue and require capital expenditure of circa $50 million. The majority of this capital expenditure will be to acquire 220 tonne dump trucks which are expected to have a useful life of 10 years. Shares in Macmahon Holdings (ASX:MAH) closed flat at $0.23.

Online homewares store Temple and Webster (ASX:TPW) record full year revenue of $176.3 million up 74 per cent on the year before. Year to date revenue from 1 Jul to 19 October is up 138 per cent on the prior corresponding period.

Dexus (ASX:DXS) reports a fall in occupancy in its industrial and office porfolios through the September quarter although it says rent collection is still remaining high.

Megaport (ASX:MP1) reports record quarterly growth in both customers, up 7 per cent and Ports, up 10 per cent in 1Q FY21, driven by strong demand in North America.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best-performing sector is Energy rising 1.3 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Utilities sector shedding 1.4per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Orora (ASX:ORA) rising almost 8 per cent to $2.71, followed by shares in Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) and Sandfire Resources (ASX:SFR).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Megaport (ASX:MP1) dropping 13.2 per cent to $14.58, followed by shares in Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) and Graincorp (ASX:GNC).

Asian markets

Mixed. Japan’s Nikkei has gained 0.4 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has gained 0.8 per cent. The Shanghai Composite has fallen 0.4 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,917 an ounce.
The iron ore price is 0.1 per cent higher at US$119.61.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.6 per cent.
Light crude has shed US$0.27 to US$41.43 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 70.74 US cents.