Today closed out another busy week for the Australian stock market. The ASX 200 index climbed from the open of trade and by the end was 47.7 points higher after a strong session in the US overnight.
The Egyptian Exchange bell is seen at the stock exchange. Siddiqi sees financial markets deteriorating (Photo: Reuters)
Overnight the computer error closure of the NASDAQ exchange did not seem to interrupt the strong gains on equity markets and our market followed suit today. The only sectors to finish in the red were the Property and Utility sectors. The best performing sector was the energy sector closely followed by info technology and mining.
The company results today were mostly solid with not real surprise. Waste and recycling firm Transpacific Industries Group Ltd (TPI) reported a Full Year 2013 net loss of $218.7Million as expected and announced plans to sell off some of its non-core businesses. TPI management does not see market conditions improving in the short term, with current conditions remaining similar to those experienced in the 2nd half of 2013. TPI ended up over 5%
While metal recycler Sims Metal (SGM) FY 2013 a net loss of $466Million, but it was still an improvement on the $622.5Million posted in the prior year. Investors seemed to like the result even with more negative news from its European recycling divisions as the shares closed up 8.2%.
Mining and exploration company Mount Gibson Iron (MGX) has reported a 2.9% fall in FY net profit to $157.3M. Underlying net profit excluding the Mineral Resources Rent Tax credit came in at $92.9M, below expectations. Shareholders will receive a fully franked final dividend of 2 cents per share, unchanged from FY12´s payment. It brings total FY13 dividend payments to 4 cents per share. Mount Gibson's share price rose 0.7% over the session.
Lend Lease Group (LLC) released its FY 2013 results today. LLC's reported NPAT was up 10% to $552Million with its revenue largely in line and up 5.7% on the previous corresponding period. LLC management said it has a positive outlook overall, "In Australia we expect the low-interest rate environment to improve the outlook for residential over time. In Asia, the key markets in which we operate provide a solid base for continued growth." LLC lifted by 1.22% during the day.
Finance firm IOOF Holdings Limited (IFL) up 2.7% said it is well positioned to continue to gain in the industry to help it win market share.
Crown Limited (CWN) reported a NPAT of $395.8Million after significant items, down 22.9%. Crown has seen growth in main floor gaming revenue up 3.6%, and its VIP program saw its turnover grow by 7.8%. Crown announced a dividend to shareholders of $0.19cents a share helping to lift the share price up over 5% today.
During the day the COMEX gold price lifted US$5 an ounce in Asian trade and the NYMEX US oil prices also gained a little ground.
Tonight in the States all eyes will be back on the NASDAQ and the results from its outage last night. But once all the drama has passed the focus will turn back on the outcomes (if any) from the Jackson Hole Federal Reserve annual Symposium over Friday and the weekend for talk on the Fed's stimulus plans.
The Australian dollar did well to hold above $0.90 USC for most of the day before falling away in the last hour now at $0.8996
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