Global markets continued to sell off overnight as Wall Street’s main indexes hit a near three-month low with growing fears of a protracted trade war between the United States and China sent investors scurrying for the safety of government bonds
Stock in Focus: James Hardie (JHX:ASX)
Shares in construction company James Hardie (JHX) were up on its 2019 full year result after delivering revenue of US$2.51 billion and adjusted net operating profit of US$301m which were both up +22% and 3.4% respectively. With its acquisition of Femacell in Europe being the primary driver of revenue growth as well as modest growth in North American Fibre Cement business thanks to stable US housing market demand – being better than previously anticipated. Weaker profit growth was attributed to increased production costs which lowered gross margins, larger operating expenditure and one-off costs related to the Fermacell acquisition.
We currently have a high risk BUY recommendation on JHX.
Australia & New Zealand Market Movers
The Australian share market sold off yesterday (ASX 200 index -0.69%) following moves on Wall Street. In stock news, Telstra shares rose after the company said an additional $200 million of restructuring costs and redundancies would not affect the company's earnings guidance of between $8.7 billion and $9.4 billion. Chief executive Andy Penn said the company was ahead of schedule on its T22 restructuring plan.
Lynas Corp shares added 15.5% after reports emerged China was seriously considering restricting rare earth exports to the US. Lynas processes its rare earths in Malaysia, meaning it would be immune to the restriction and would receive the full benefit of higher mineral prices.
The New Zealand market was lower again on Wednesday (NZX 50 index -0.27%) with Fletcher Building and Precinct Properties New Zealand under pressure on news the Commercial Bay development is running behind schedule and facing more cost overruns. Precinct warned the Auckland CBD project was set to open six months later than the previous forecast, potentially adding another $10 million to the $690 million development.
3 Things Markets Will be Watching this Week
- Mini reporting season across Australasia sees a number of Aussie & Kiwi stocks make earnings announcements this week.
- The latest US economic growth figures (GDP) are released on Friday morning (AU/NZ time).
- The NZ government budget is released on Thursday.
Have a Great Day,