18/05/2018 - 15:06

BN30 hits all-time high

18/05/2018 - 15:06

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Business News’ index of 30 Western Australian stocks hit an all-time high this week, helped by solid gains by copper miner Sandfire Resources, oil and gas giant Woodside Petroleum and engineering and construction contractor Monadelphous Group.

BN30 hits all-time high
The index finished the week at 148.56.

Business News’ index of 30 Western Australian stocks hit an all-time high this week, helped by solid gains by copper miner Sandfire Resources, oil and gas giant Woodside Petroleum and engineering and construction contractor Monadelphous Group.

The BN30, which was launched by Business News at the start of 2016, reached its peak of 148.99 yesterday, before declining slightly today to finish the week at 148.56.

The index reflects similar trends to the overall Australian market, falling sharply in February in line with a global correction tied to global trade war fears and the US economic outlook.

Since early April, the BN30 has increased about 9 per cent, with conglomerate Wesfarmers up nearly 10 per cent, while diversified mining services company Mineral Resources also helped the increase with a 14.6 per cent rise.

During the past year, the index has risen about 24 per cent, receiving a boost from lithium-focused Pilbara Minerals (up 132.9 per cent), medical marijuana stock Auscann Group Holdings (157.8 per cent), and oil and gas company Buru Energy (124.2 per cent).

MinRes also registered a 93.1 per cent surge in its share price over the past year, along with increases at Seven Group Holdings (77.2 per cent) and Ausdrill (111.6 per cent).

The poor performers include Automotive Holdings Group, which issued a profit downgrade this week.

AHG has taken a 16.2 per cent hit to its stock price over the past year, while iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group has shed 3 per cent over the same period.

To see full details, go to https://www.businessnews.com.au/List/bn30

Meanwhile, Australian shares have closed weaker as mining and banking stocks lost ground, despite the energy sector and vaccines giant CSL giving the local market a shot in the arm.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed down 6.9 points, or 0.11 per cent, to 6,087.4 on Friday, while the broader All Ordinaries index fell 6.3 points, or 0.1 per cent at 6,190.9 points.

The S&P/ASX200 dropped almost 29 points over the week but CommSec chief market analyst Steven Daghlian said it was the first sustained market pullback since the end of March.

"We have fallen about half a per cent this week, which isn't a huge loss in particular when you consider that big banks went ex-dividend," he said.

"It was always going to be a bit hard for the market to continue at the sort of pace that we have seen in the last month and a half."

CSL was the star stock, closing 4.1 per cent higher at $182.95 and injecting more than 10 points into the market.

The vaccines and blood products company's stock jumped after announcing the northern hemisphere flu season helped it boost full-year profit guidance by 28 per cent, to between $US1.68 billion and $US1.71 billion on a constant currency basis.

All but one of the three of the four major banks retreated, with Westpac falling 0.9 per cent to $28.85, the Commonwealth Bank shedding 0.9 one per cent to $70.50 and National Australia Bank losing 0.7 per cent to $27.42.

ANZ closed 0.6 per cent firmer at $28.17, after announcing it will sell its majority stake in a Cambodian bank as it continues to divest assets in Asia.

A weaker iron ore price impacted the major miners, with BHP Billiton down 1.1 per cent to $34.08 and Rio Tinto falling 1.1 per cent to $85.81, while a declining gold price pushed Newcrest Mining down 1.9 per cent to $20.72.

The energy sector generally had a positive day of trade as oil prices remain around 3.5-year highs.

Origin Energy, the nation's largest gas and power retailer, jumped 3.3 per cent to $10.10 and Woodside Petroleum inched ahead 0.06 per cent to $34.31.

Santos was up 0.8 per cent to $6.25, the day after US private equity firm Harbour Energy lodged a binding takeover proposal that did not increase the offer value of $US10.4 billion.

In companies news, Myer gained 4.7 per cent to 45 cents despite the retailer's biggest stakeholder Solomon Lew warning shareholders to brace themselves for yet another company profit downgrade and loss.

The stock rose as rumours of a private equity buyout were reported.

Godfreys climbed 6.5 per cent to 33 cents after two major shareholders of the vacuum cleaner merchant agreed to sell their stake in the company to the 99-year-old co-founder of the business.

AMP dipped 0.3 per cent to $3.92 as the wealth management giant appeared in court for the first time to defend a class action brought on behalf of shareholders who lost money after damaging revelations at the banks royal commission.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar firmed slightly against the greenback, with high commodity prices supporting the local currency as US 10-year bond yields rise to the highest level in around seven years.

At 1630 AEST, the local currency was worth US75.20 cents, from US75.34 cents on Thursday.

ON THE ASX:

* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 was down 6.9 points, or 0.11 per cent, to 6,087.4

* The broader All Ordinaries index was down 6.3 points, or 0.1 per cent at 6,190.9 points

* The SPI200 futures contract was down 13 points, or 0.21 per cent, at 6,095 points

* National turnover was 2.4 billion securities traded worth $5.7 billion

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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