ASX peaks since last Feb: Aus shares close 0.3% higher

Market Reports

by Melissa Darmawan

Text-only (non-video) report.

The Australian sharemarket finished its second day in the black closing up 0.25 per cent or 17.6 points higher at 7,082.3, its best close since last February. The index was helped along by the price of oil and gold rising following optimism over fuel demand and the US Federal Reserve keeping interest rates on hold. Heavyweights Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) and BHP (ASX:BHP) closed around the 0.9 per cent mark while the likes of Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG) gained 5.4 per cent and Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) up 2.1 per cent after posting their quarterly figures. Groceries shopping giants also took the spotlight with Coles (ASX: COL) up 3.3 per cent despite posting a decline in sales growth yesterday while its rival Woolworths (ASX:WOW) shed 3.9 per cent after a drop in supermarket sales in their quarterly results and the withdrawal of their Dan Murphy project in Darwin. The best performing sector was Technology, up 2.2 per cent while the worst performing was Consumer Staples. On the Financials sector front, AMP (ASX:AMP) added 3.65 per cent as investors mulled on the news from last week on the demerger of their private markets business while the big four banks closed in the red. Meanwhile, digital banking and payments platform Novatti (ASX:NOV) soared 31.6 per cent after they announced their partnership with Afterpay (ASX:APT) to provide digital card solutions in New Zealand. Afterpay gained 3.5 per cent at the close.


The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a rise of 110.00 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a rise of 23.25 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a rise of 111.75 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 20 points tomorrow morning.

Economic news

The Australian Bureau of Statistics released figures from their international trade price indexes report for the March quarter. The export price index rose 11.2 per cent this quarter and 8.6 per cent through the year. The import price index rose 0.2 per cent this quarter and fell 6.2 cent through the year. During the period, the Australian dollar rose against the US with the exchange rate impacting prices.

Company news

Please join us for for Stocks of the Hour:

Part I -
Part II -

Infrastructure firm NRW Holdings (ASX:NWH) has confirmed that its mineral processing specialist Primero Group has inked a $135 million deal to provide services to ASX-listed miner Strandline Resources (ASX:STA).

Australia’s biggest grocery distribution chain Woolworths (ASX:WOW) has announced its withdrawal of a Dan Murphy Store construction project in Darwin.

Digital banking and payments company Novatti (ASX:NOV) has been selected by Afterpay (ASX:APT) for the delivery of its payment card program in New Zealand.

Infrastructure investment heavyweight Infratil (ASX:IFT) is splurging over $326 million on a majority interest in diagnostic services provider Pacific Radiology.

The race for ownership of ASX-listed health, wellness and beauty products distributor McPherson’s (ASX:MCP) has intensified, as a new bid by Arrotex has toppled unlisted investment firm Kin Group’s 172 million takeover offer.

Mining giant Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) is projected to reset its record for the yearly volume of exported iron ore, capitalising on the industry’s momentum from the steel-making commodity’s record highs.

IOOF’s (ASX:IFL) funds under management, advice and administration grew by $1.5 billion for the March quarter despite the $2.1 billion of net outflows, as advisers exit from the business.

Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) reports a 4 per cent drop in their gold production for the March quarter of this year. 

Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG) reports a 5 per cent fall quarter-on-quarter ending March this year following expected lower production from their Mako gold mine despite its highest Syama sulphide gold production since 2016.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Information Technology, up 2.25 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Consumer Staples, down 1.27 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Nickel Mines (ASX:NIC), closing 7.91 per cent higher at $1.16. It was followed by shares in Ramelius Resources (ASX:RMS) and Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Nuix (ASX:NXL), closing 5.62 per cent lower at $4.03. It was followed by shares in Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX:URW) and Woolworths Group (ASX:WOW).

Asian markets

The Nikkei is closed due to public holiday.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng has gained 0.67%.
China's Shanghai Composite has gained 0.31%.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1781.28 an ounce.
Iron ore is 1.40 per cent lower at US$192.52 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 0.40 per cent.
Light crude is trading $0.32 higher at USUS$61.77 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 77.91 US cents. 

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