ASX Market Wrap: ASX gains as retail sales up


The S&P/ASX 200 index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) closed up 1.1% at 4,172.2, following strong leads from US markets overnight, and positive economic data today.

Better than expected retail sales for the month of May and record June car sales both contributed to the market’s gain. Retail sales for May came in at $21.3 billion, compared to $21.2 billion in April, a 0.5% rise. Analysts had only been expecting a 0.2% rise. June was a record month for new car sales, with more than 110,000 vehicles sold for the first time ever, thanks to end of financial year sales.

The Australian dollar jumped on the news, rising to a two-month high of 103.3 US cents.

In more positive economic news, spending on engineering projects rose 13.3% in the first quarter of 2012, compared to the previous quarter, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Spending of $29.8 billion was an all-time high, led by the mining and energy sectors.

Company News

James Packer’s Crown Limited announced that it was seeking approval to buy up to 25% of Echo Entertainment’s shares. As I outlined earlier today, it could be interesting times ahead for Crown and Echo shareholders.

Foxtel,  50% owned by Telstra Limited (ASX: TLS), has announced a new television product after signing a deal with Samsung. Owners of Samsung Smart TVs who have a broadband service can now subscribe for a limited number of Foxtel channels, with no additional equipment required. This is the first time Foxtel has been offered through an unaffiliated broadband service.

Winners and losers

Miners performed well today, with Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) and Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) both rising more than 3.4%.

As my colleague, Scott Phillips mentioned today, Linc Energy Ltd (ASX: LNC) was 1.3% higher, on news that it was taking steps to cut costs by retrenching 60 workers. Shares in Origin Energy Limited (ASX: ORG) jumped 3.5% to $12.75, as the company announced that the second LNG production facility (or “train” in sector speak) will be commissioned at its Australia Pacific LNG joint-venture plant.

Of the majors, CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) and Macquarie Group Limited (ASX: MQG) were the losers, falling by 0.4% and 0.9% respectively.

Foolish takeaway

While your portfolios may have seen a nice rise today, remember it’s only one day, and to focus on the long term. Patience, Fools!

If you’re in the market for some high yielding ASX shares, look no further than our ”Secure Your Future with 3 Rock-Solid Dividend Stocks” report. In this free report, we’ve put together our best ideas for investors who are looking for solid companies with high dividends and good growth potential. Click here now to find out the names of our three favourite income ideas. But hurry – the report is free for only a limited time.

More reading

Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned. The Motley Fool‘s purpose is to help the world invest, better. Take Stock is The Motley Fool’s free investing newsletter. Packed with stock ideas and investing advice, it is essential reading for anyone looking to build and grow their wealth in the years ahead. Click here now to request your free subscription, whilst it’s still available. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

OUR #1 DIVIDEND PICK FOR 2016...

Forget BHP and Woolworths. This "dirt cheap" company is growing like gangbusters, and trading on a 5.6% dividend yield, FULLY FRANKED (8% gross). With interest rates set to stay at these low levels for years to come, for hungry investors, including SMSFs, this ASX company could be the "holy grail" of dividend plays for 2016.

Enter your email below to discover the name, code and a full investment analysis in our brand-new FREE report, “The Motley Fool’s Top Dividend Stock for 2016.”

By clicking this button, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. We will use your email address only to keep you informed about updates to our website and about other products and services we think might interest you. You can unsubscribe from Take Stock at anytime. Please refer to our https://www.fool.com.au/financial-services-guide">Financial Services Guide (FSG) for more information.