As investors remain anxious over the trade talks between the US and China over tariff hike that are set to take place in Washington today and tomorrow , there were significant fluctuations in the Australian Stock exchange today.
The Australian stock exchange gained around 0.3 per cent within 25 minutes of trade after opening then dropped again before noon. The S&P/ASX 200 continued to vary and finally ended up higher at 6295.3 points, up by 0.4 per cent or 26.2 points in comparison to the previous day’s close. The S&P/ASX 200 opened at 6,269.10 points, dropped lower to 6,258.80 points and touched a high value of 6,300.20 during the trading today.
Almost all the sectors ended up in green today except the Consumer Staples, Health Care and Materials sector that closed in red. The materials sector was down by 0.28 per cent, Health Care by 0.07 per cent and Consumer Staples by 0.06 per cent today.
The five best-performing stocks on the ASX 200 were Galaxy Resources Limited (ASX: GXY), Orica Limited (ASX: ORI), Orocobre Limited (ASX: ORE), Smartgroup Corporation Ltd (ASX: SIQ) and Challenger Limited (ASX: CGF).
Galaxy Resources Limited rose the maximum by 7.49 per cent at AUD 1.65 relative to the last closing price followed by Orica limited that increased 5.63 per cent to AUD 19.70 today.
Orica Limited announced their 2019 half-year results today and reported a stronger first-half operating performance. Compared to 1H18 figures, the underlying net profit after tax grew by 35 per cent to $167 million, and the underlying EBIT advanced 20 per cent to $301 million in 1H19. Net operating cash flows amounted to $184 million in 1H19.
Smartgroup’s share price rose 4.04 per cent to $8.75 today as its Managing Director and CEO, Deven Billimoria provided an overview of the company’s financial performance in 2018 at its Annual General Meeting. Mr Billimoria informed that Smartgroup delivered revenues of $241.8 million for the full year and NPATA of $78.0 million. According to him, the company has provided another year of continued financial growth and improved operational results in 2018.
The stocks that closed in red on ASX today included Adelaide Brighton Limited (ASX: ABC), Graincorp Limited (ASX: GNC), Fletcher Building Limited (ASX: FBU), Tassal Group Limited (ASX: TGR) and Australian Pharmaceutical Industries Limited (ASX: API).
Adelaide Brighton Limited witnessed its stock price dropping 10.26 per cent to $3.76. The stock fell as the company notified today that its underlying net profit after tax (excluding property) will be 10 to 15 per cent less in FY19 than the prior year NPAT of $190.1 million.
The softened demand for construction materials in the residential market contributed to the weak performance of Adelaide Brighton, as per the company. This perhaps created panic among investors, and the share prices of several of the biggest construction businesses dropped today. The share price of Fletcher Building Limited reduced by 3.23 per cent to $4.80.
Graincorp’s stock price declined 4.27 per cent to $7.63 with to its weak performance during 1H19. The company reported an underlying net loss after tax of $48 million and statutory net loss after tax of $59 million in the half-year ending 31st March 2019.
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