Positive start following Wall St rally
The Australian sharemarket has kicked off the week in positive territory, helped by a rally on Wall St, where the DOW gained 1.7%. The energy sector is leading the gains, following a 2.6% jump in oil prices on Friday, while the Materials sector is also notching up solid gains thanks to firmer gold and base metals prices. The ASX 200 is up 22% to 0.4 to 6,088.
In earnings news, Ansell (ANN) has upgraded its full year earnings guidance, despite posting a 91% drop in first half net profit to US$39.5 million as it continues to transform its business. During the period Ansell bought protective glove manufacturer Ringers Gloves for US$70 million and announced plans to shut three production facilities in Mexico and South Korea. ANN is now expected FY19 earnings per share for its continuing businesses to be in the range ofUS$1.06-$1.12, compared to its prior forecast of US$1.00- $1.12. ANN shares are up 2.9% to $24.94.
Brambles (BXB) shares are down 2.4% to $10.97 after the company posted a 27% fall in first half profit to US$319.8 million. The company battled a rise in operating expenses due to higher transport and fuel costs, with expenses coming in at US$2.43 billion. Underlying profit rose by 1% to US$504.4 million, on a constant currency basis.
NIB Holdings (NHF) has lifted its interim dividend and underlying guidance after posting a 5% improvement in firsthalf profit to $74.5 million. The health insurer’s total underlying revenue rose by 9% to $1.21 billion. However, NIB has warned of a weaker second half ahead of seasonal headwinds and political frustrations. NHF shares are down 0.9% to $5.77.
 Bingo Industries (BIN) shares have plunged 46% to $1.24 after the company downgraded its full year earnings guidance. Bingo now sees FY19 underlying EBITDA to be flat from a year earlier, having previously forecast growth of up to 20%. BIN has blamed softer-than-expected building activity and a delayed price rise due to the Queensland state waste levy.
 Bank of Queensland (BOQ) shares have slumped 6% to $9.35 after the bank said it expects its earnings for the half-year to drop between 6-9% as it makes less money on non-interest income. BOQ is now expecting 1H earnings to be in the range of $165-170 million, compared to $182 million a year ago.
936 million shares have been traded, worth $1.89 billion. 555 stocks are higher, 390 are weaker, while 366 are unchanged. Published by CommSec