Local share market starts off quietly thin grinds steadily higher. Heavy buying in the last minutes of trading sees the S&P/ASX 200 index record its best one-day gain in forty years. Many companies withdraw their guidance but still post good gains for the day. ASX turnover is well down on last week but still solid at $7.2 billion.
S&P/ASX 200 Intraday
Ansell (ANN) is one of the day's best performers after saying that it is experiencing 'very strong demand' for its hand and body protection products and 'high demand' for many of its single use examination gloves and surgical gloves. The company reiterates its FY20 EPS guidance range of US112-122 cents per share.
Insurance Australia Group (IAG) rallies 10.9% after completing the sale of its interest in SBI General Insurance Company in India, confirming its 'strong capital position and unchanged guidance for the financial year ended 30 June 2020.'
Department store retailer Myer Holdings (MYR) gains 9.5% after announcing plans to close all its stores and stand down approximately 10,000 staff due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wealth manager Challenger (CGF) jumps 11.7% after confirming that 'it remains strongly capitalised and maintains its normalised profit guidance for FY20 despite continued significant investment market volatility as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.'
S&P/ASX Sector Indices (% change)
Bank of Queensland (BOQ) climbs 5.7% and QBE Insurance (QBE) adds 6.7% even though both companies withdraw their FY20 guidance.
High-flying education services provider IDP Education (IEL) goes into voluntary suspension pending an announcement on the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on its business.
APN Property Group (APD) rises 6.3% after withdrawing its earnings guidance but noting that management fees from its listed and unlisted trusts are 'based on direct property valuations that are less volatile and not subject to daily market movements.'
Speedcast International (SDA) remains suspended after reporting a full-year net loss of US$469.2 billion in the full-year ending 31 December 2019. Revenue from ordinary activities was up 18.0%.
ARB Corporation (ARB) gains 4.5% after withdrawing its FY20 earnings guidance even though it says trading during January, February and the first half of March 2020 was in line with expectations. The companys says it is 'not possible to reliably forecast where the current financial year will end due to the increasing levels of economic uncertainty as a result of COVID-19.'
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