ASX resets record high to close above 7,300 for the first time: Aus shares close 0.5% higher

Market Reports

by Melissa Darmawan

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The Australian sharemarket stayed in positive territory throughout the session to close at a fresh record high at 7,302. Property was the best performer, up 2.4 per cent with all sectors ended in the black while Materials closed flat as Energy shed 1.1 per cent. The performance followed Wall Street’s weak lead as investors await inflation figures.

Mining heavyweights closed mixed with Fortescue Mining (ASX:FMG) up 0.8 per cent, Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) added 0.1 per cent while BHP (ASX:BHP) closed 0.8 per lower.

Travel stocks failed to take off as Victoria’s restrictions ease tonight with Webjet (ASX:WEB) down 2.9 per cent followed by Flight Centre (ASX:FLT) dropped 2.7 per cent.

Banks closed almost higher as ANZ (ASX:ANZ) shed 0.2 per cent.

Woolworths (ASX:WOW) added 0.8 per cent on news the ACCC will not oppose Woolworths' acquisition of 65 per cent of shares in PFD Food Services. Austal (ASX:ASB) shares are down 2.2 per cent after ASIC launched civil proceedings against the shipbuilder. Boral (ASX:BLD) shed 0.8 per cent after the company called on shareholders to reject Kerry Stoke’s Seven Group’s (ASX:SWM) offer.

The best performing stock was Iress (ASX:IRE) on whispers that investment bank Barrenjoey commenced a dig around for shares.

At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 was 0.44 per cent or 32.30 points higher at 7302.5.

The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a rise of 29.00 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a rise of 3.00 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a rise of 4.75 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 34 points when the market next opens.

Company news

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Grocery retail giant Woolworths (ASX:WOW) has secured regulatory approval from the the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to acquire a 65 per cent stake in foods distributor and producer PFD.

Financial whistleblower ASIC has launched civil penalty proceedings against Austal (ASX:ASB) and its former chief executive David Singleton in the Federal Court of Australia on the company’s market disclosures with respect to Austal’s Littoral Combat Ship program before July 2016.

Property dynamo Centuria Capital Group (ASX:CNI) is set to acquire a 14-level office building in Victoria for $224 million for its new unlisted ‘Centuria Government Income Property Fund’.

Market platform provider Iress (ASX:IRE) notes the media speculation today in The Australian Financial Review about market activity by investment bank Barrenjoey.

Boral (ASX:BLD) calls on their shareholders to reject a takeover bid from Seven Group Holdings (ASX:SVM). The company believes the $8 billion offer undervalues the company after the conglomerate offered $6.50 per share.

National Australia Bank (ASX:NAB) has sought specialist treatment for its anti-money laundering problem with AUSTRAC, and its prescribed therapy is the recruitment of the financial intelligence agency’s former executive Paul Jevtovic.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Real Estate Investment Trusts, up 2.44 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Energy, down 1.10 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was IRESS (ASX:IRE), closing 16.80 per cent higher at $12.79. It was followed by shares in Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) and Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX:URW).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was NRW Holdings (ASX:NWH), closing 3.40 per cent lower at $1.56. It was followed by shares in The A2 Milk Company (ASX:A2M) and Oil Search (ASX:OSH).

Asian markets

Japan's Nikkei has gained 0.34 per cent.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng has gained 0.18 per cent.
China's Shanghai Composite has gained 0.44 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1887.00 an ounce.
Iron ore is 1.50 per cent higher at US$212.67 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.25 per cent.
Light crude is trading flat at US$69.96 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 77.38 US cents.

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