AfterPay Stars As Broader ASX Edges Higher
The ASX will start weak and lower later this morning after an inconclusive end on Wall Street on Friday ended a rough week.
Eurozone shares fell 0.4% on Friday and the US S&P 500 fell 0.1% with another bout of tweets from Donald Trump’s around interest rates, China tariffs and the US dollar not helping sentiment.
As a result that weak lead saw the ASX 200 futures contract down 18 points or 0.3% by the close on Saturday morning, Sydney time and that points to a soft start for the Australian share market today.
That will be the direct opposite of Friday’s solid 23 point, or 0.4% rise in the ASX 200, to 6,285.
That propelled the index to its 0.3% gain for the week.
Afterpay shares jumped more than 30% to $14.36 after updating shareholders on better than forecast earnings trends and sales on Thursday.
Technology One was another strong tech which saw its shares up a solid 15% to $5.05, after it reaffirmed its fiscal-year net profit growth target. There had been some concerns about that forecast after a less than encouraging interim performance.
Shares in CIMIC (the old Leighton Holdings) jumped 13% to $48.30 after a 12% rise in interim net profit to $363 million.
The big banks did OK, especially on Friday.
CBA shares climbed 0.7% to $75.90, Westpac rose 0.7% to $29.90, NAB shares ended up 0.6% to $28.30 and ANZ shares finished half a per cent higher at $29.36. That saw the CBA rise 1.4% over the week, the ANZ, 1.2%, the NAB, lost 0.9% and Westpac added 1%.
Miners and energy stocks had a tough week with commodity prices weakening as the US-China trade war intensified thanks to more bluster from Donald Trump.
BHP shares lost 2% on Friday to end the week with a loss of 1.2%, while Rio shares rose 0.3% but eased 0.6% for the week.
Gold miner, Evolution Mining fell 9.7% to end the week at $2.99 after forecasting lower production and higher costs in the 2019 financial year.
Lithium hopefuls, Galaxy Resources fell 6.7% over the week but Pilbara Minerals saw its shares end the week down 3.9%, despite a 4.5% jump on Friday.
Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.
At the AFR he was a finance writer, Finance Editor, News Editor and Chief of Staff. At the Nine Network he was supervising producer of Business Sunday for more than 16 years. He has also written for other online and analogue print publications here and overseas.