The Aussie market is rebounding from three straight losses to lift towards lunch on Friday. The ASX 200 is climbing 35 points or 0.6% to 5692. If the market is able to maintain these levels for the remainder of the session, the ASX 200 index will manage its first weekly improvement in a month.
The local performance, at lunch, follows a late surge on Wall Street overnight where stocks finished well off session lows. At its worst levels, the Dow Jones had fallen nearly 800 points before recovering to a 79 point loss. The NASDAQ managed to erase its losses for the session to climb 0.4%.
Gains are generally across the board with financials, health care and consumer staples doing much of the heavy lifting. Materials are the only sector in negative territory. Among the improvers are the big four banks, led by a 1.1% lift in Commonwealth Bank (CBA). CSL Ltd (CSL) is advancing 2.9% and both major supermarkets Coles Group (COL) and Woolworths (WOW) are supporting the broader push higher. WOW is up 1.3% while COL is jumping 4%.
Origin Energy (ORG) is advancing 3.9% as it holds its investor day. The energy company announced that it continues to prioritise debt repayments and targets more than $150 million in cost reductions by FY2021. ORG also plans to unveil a dividend policy with its FY19 results. Virgin Australia (VAH) is rising 5.5% after announcing group revenue grew 9.7% in 1Q19 compared to the prior year and similar growth is expected over 2Q. Underlying 1H19 underlying profit before tax is anticipated to be at least $100 million.
Wealth manager, IOOF Holdings (IFL) is slumping 33% after regulator APRA confirmed it is looking to take action against the business for “failing to act in the best interest of its superannuation members”. APRA is looking to impose licence conditions and disqualify several executives and directors from the industry. ANZ’s sale of its OnePath business to IFL is also being re-assessed. Meanwhile, Construction materials firm, Adelaide Brighton (ABC) has lowered its expected FY underlying NPAT to $188-$195 million from $200-$210 million on slowing demand over 2H18. ABC shares are down 8.9%.
The AUD is buying 72.3 US cents. 0.9B units have traded worth $2.2B with 412 stocks higher, 486 lower and 321 unchanged.
Published by James Tao, CommSec