The Australian share market or S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX: XJO)(ASX: XJO) index opened slightly lower Wednesday morning, with Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW) in the news.
Here’s the key headline data:
Australian Dollar ($A) (AUDUSD): 74.83 US cents
Dow Jones (DJI): down 0.3%
Oil (WTI): $US67.45 per barrel
Gold: $US1,306 per ounce
Overnight, London-listed shares of BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) finished down 1.6% and down 0.8%, respectively, according to Yahoo! Finance.
Australian Investing News
Making news in Australia, supermarket giant Woolworths released its third-quarter sales report today. For the 13 weeks to April 2018, Woolworths said its total sales rose 3.6%, compared to the same period from 2017 and adjusted for Easter sales.
Woolworths’ Australian Food business, which includes its supermarkets, experienced a 4% improvement in sales.
“We are pleased with the progress we are continuing to make against our key priorities as we pivot from turnaround to transformation,” Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci said.
“Our focus for the remainder of FY18 is on delivering consistently good shopping experiences across all stores and days of the week, embedding current strategic initiatives including ‘Simpler for Stores’ and continuing to improve our digital experience.”
Also making headlines, bullbar and 4×4 specialist ARB Corporation Ltd (ASX: ARB) provided a market update to investors revealing that its sales, “order book is currently strong both domestically and internationally” but remains cautious of the economic environment. ARB plans to establish 7 new stores before the end of its 2019 financial year.
Electronics and home retailer JB Hi-Fi Limited (ASX: JBH) provided a trading and outlook update showing third-quarter sales growth of 6.8% in its branded stores. Meanwhile, its The Good Guys branded stores reported total sales down 1.3% compared to the same period a year earlier.
Finally, funerals business InvoCare Limited (ASX: IVC) provided a marketing update saying it expects its performance to be stronger in the second half of its current financial year. However, it expects to report a low-single-digit operating profit per share decline compared to its 2017 result.
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