Aussie shares are remaining surprisingly resilient, with the ASX 200 index up 1 per cent, sitting at 10.5 year highs and are lifting for the fourth time in five days with gains across almost all sectors. What is perhaps most impressive about the improvement is that the Dow Jones has fallen for seven straight days and US-China trade tensions still remain. A weaker Australian dollar could be helping while market moves can at times be unpredictable as the end of the financial year approaches.
The banks continue to mostly lift, with Commonwealth Bank (CBA) and National Bank (NAB) standing out. The financials have been unloved since the start of this year on the sharemarket and most of the banks came under pressure last month after trading ex-dividend.
Ramsay Healthcare (RHC) is down 7.5 per cent as the private hospital operator warned of lower profits due to issues with its UK business and fewer patient admissions at its Australian private hospitals.
Atlas Iron (AGO) is down 1.1 per cent. The iron ore miner’s Board is now recommending shareholders accept a cash takeover offer made by Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting on Monday. This values the company at ~$390m ($0.042). AGO is now liable to pay Mineral Resources (MIN) a $3.12 million break fee as part of their agreement.
Telstra (TLS) is down 0.7 per cent. Yesterday the telco announced plans to cut 8,000 jobs in three years, a further $1bn in cost cuts and the sale of $2bn in assets. TLS shares fell by almost 5 per cent on Wednesday after warning of lower than expected earnings in FY19.
Woolworths (WOW) is up 1 per cent. BP said it will not proceed with its planned purchase of WOW’s ~500 petrol stations for $1.8bn. The offer was previously rejected by the ACCC due to concerns a deal would lower competition. WOW said it is looking at other options for its petrol business.
APN Outdoor (APN) is up 13 per cent after receiving a $1.1bn takeover from French company JCDecaux (the world’s biggest outdoor advertising organisation).
The Australian dollar remains under pressure as the greenback strengthens on US-China trade tensions. The Aussie buys US$0.736 which is around a one-year low.
1.8bn shares have changed hands so far today, worth $5bn. 624 stocks are up, 412 are down and 405 are unchanged.
Commodity prices were mixed in overnight trade but have mostly been under pressure this week. Gold is at a December 2017 low, iron ore was steady while oil prices rose strongly. Oil jumped by 1.8 per cent to US$66/barrel supported by a 5.9m barrel decline in oil inventories in the US last week. OPEC and allied oil producing nations will be meeting in coming days in Vienna, Austria and could be one of the more important meetings of the year for oil producers as they discuss oil supply.
Published by CommSec