Westpac uncovers potential fraud: ASX closed flat over the week

Market Reports

by Lauren Evans

The Australian sharemarket maintained momentum after midday to close 0.6 per cent or 43 points higher at 7,309, bouncing back from yesterday’s dip to the start of the new financial year.

All sectors advanced with Energy as the best performing sector up 1.8 per cent with Consumer Staples closed flat while Technology fell 0.1 per cent.

The best performing stock was IDP Education (ASX:IEL) closed 20.1 per cent higher following news released yesterday to acquire India’s IELTs operations while the worst performer was intellectual property services provider IPH (ASX:IPH) closed 5.3 per cent lower at $7.54 after investors digested their $5 million spend to acquire Applied Marks.

All four banks except Westpac (ASX:WBC) advanced. It closed 0.04 per cent lower following news about uncovering a potential fraud. In the mining space, BHP (ASX:BHP) closed 0.7 per cent higher while Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) closed 0.2 per cent lower.

At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 was 0.6 per cent or 43 points higher at 7,309. Over the week, the S&P 200 gained 0.01 per or 6 points.

Local economic news

The Australian Bureau of Statistics released the 'Investor housing loan commitments' for May. New housing loan commitments rose 4.9 per cent in May 2021 (seasonally adjusted) to a new high of $32.6 billion, driven by investor housing loan commitments.

Company news 

Catapult Group International (ASX:CAT) has announced the completion of a strategic acquisition of leading sports software video solutions provider SBG Sports Software ("SBG").

Thiess, a 50 per cent-owned associate of CIMIC (ASX:CIM), has been selected by MACH Energy as the preferred mining services contractor for MACH's Mount Pleasant Operation in New South Wales. The scope of the operation includes constructing a new coal preparation plant, rail loop, mine infrastructure area, water management system and supporting facilities.

Westpac (ASX:WBC) has announced it has commenced proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against Forum Finance, following the discovery of a significant potential fraud. The potential fraud relates to a portfolio of equipment leases with Westpac customers arranged by Forum Finance, which were referred to Westpac’s Institutional Bank.

BWX (ASX:BWX) is a leading wellness business and successfully acquired Flora & Fauna for approximately $27.9 million, representing a multiple of approximately 1.7x actual net revenue for FY21.

Novatti Group (ASX:NOV) has announced it will launch an expanded growth strategy with a $45 million capital raising, under a $40 million placement and a $5 million share purchase plan.

Futures

The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a rise of 17.00 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a fall of 0.75 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a fall of 34.75 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 39 points when the market next opens.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Energy, up 1.76 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Information Technology, down 0.11 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was IDP Education (ASX:IEL), closing 20.31 per cent higher at $29.44. It was followed by shares in The A2 Milk Company (ASX:A2M) and Nickel Mines (ASX:NIC).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was IPH (ASX:IPH), closing 5.28 per cent lower at $7.54. It was followed by shares in Megaport (ASX:MP1) and Netwealth Group (ASX:NWL).

Asian markets

Japan's Nikkei has gained 0.24 per cent.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng has lost 1.94 per cent.
China's Shanghai Composite has lost 1.88 per cent.

Wall Street

Over the last four trading days, the Dow Jones gained 0.58 per cent, the S&P 500 gained 0.91 per cent and the Nasdaq gained 1.12 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1777.88 an ounce.
Iron ore is 2.40 per cent higher at US$219.32 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 1.10 per cent.
Light crude is trading $0.11 lower at US$75.12 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 74.65 US cents.

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