Bank stocks and defensive industrials drive the local share market to 7,130.2 - just below its record high of 7132.7 set on 22 January 2020. Resources lose ground, especially gold and energy stocks. Strong demand pushes ASX trading turnover above $7 billion for a third consecutive day.
S&P/ASX 200 Intraday
Strong buying lifts Commonwealth Bank (CBA) by 2.6% to a four-year high of $90.99. The other Big Four banks also do well with National Australia Bank (NAB) +3.3%, Westpac Banking Corp (WBC) +1.1% and ANZ Banking Group (ANZ) +0.7%.
Baby Bunting Group (BBN) slumps 11.1% after reporting a lower-than-expected 0.6% rise in half-yearly net profit. Revenue for the period was up 4.9%. The company expects full-year same store sales growth to be 'low to mid-single digits' and net profits to be 'in the range of $20.0 million to $22.0 million.'
Dental materials group SDI (SDI) jumps 8.6% after posting an 11.9% rise in half-yearly net profit. Revenue was up 7.7%.
S&P/ASX Sector Indices (% change)
Caltex Australia (CTX) slips 0.5% to $33.55 despite yesterday's news that suitor Alimentation Couche-Tard had submitted a new indicative bid of $35.25 per share, up $0.75 per share on its previous offer.
Education services provider 3P Learning (3PL) trades lower for most of the session but closes flat after announcing an interim loss of $1.8 million, down from a net profit of $1.9 million in the same period last year.
Shares in recruitment and human resources firm People Infrastructure (PPE) sink 3.6% after it reports a 9.0% rise in half-yearly net profit. Revenue was up 46.4% but earnings per share were down 3.1% on a year ago.
ASX Market Moving Stocks
Preliminary Eurozone GDP figures suggest growth of just 0.1% in the December quarter 2019 and yearly growth of 0.9%.
Wall Street ends the week higher despite ongoing concerns about the spread of the coronavirus. Media reports suggest that China is understating the true number of cases.
US retail sales rise by 0.3% in January 2020, in line with market forecasts.
US industrial production falls 0.3% in January 2020 (consensus: -0.3%) and manufacturing output was down 0.1% (consensus: -0.2%).
Asset Class Performance (Yearly % total return)