The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX: XJO)(^AXJO) is expected to open lower today, the USA’s S&P 500 Index (.INX) went down 0.94% on Thursday.

Australian Dollar ($A) (AUDUSD): 71.05US cents

Dow Jones (DJI): down 0.87%

Oil (WTI): $US52.57 per barrel

Gold: $US1,310 per ounce

ASX Sharemarket News

In ASX sharemarket news, property advertising website business REA Group Limited (ASX: REA) hs announced its half-year result. The real estate company’s core operations showed that revenue increased by 15% to $469.2 million, EBITDA grew by 19% to $289.1 million, net profit increased by 20% to $176.6 million, and earnings per share (EPS) increased by 20% to 134 cents (click here to learn what EBITDA means).

Management felt confident to increase the dividend by an impressive 17% to 55 cents per share based on the profit growth.

REA Group CEO Owen Wilson said: “This is an exceptional start to the year and I’m pleased with the strong growth we have delivered, despite the tough conditions we faced in the Australian market.”


Expert Interview: Magellan's Hamish Douglass

Hamish Douglass is one of Australia's top investors and founders, having co-founded Magellan - a near $9 billion business! Listen now on iTunes, SoundcloudCastbox, YouTube or Spotify.


News Corp (ASX: NWS) has released its second quarter result of FY19. The global media business reported that revenue grew by 21% to US$2.63 billion, reflecting the consolidation of Foxtel and good results in book publishing and the digital real estate services segments.

Total segment EBITDA was $370 million compared to $328 million in the prior year. Net income was $119 million compared to a net loss of $66 million last year.

News Corp CEO Robert Thomson said: “News Corp has reported increased profitability and revenue growth during the first half of fiscal 2019, highlighting the power of premium content and authenticated audiences in a fact-challenged world that craves credibility.”

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Gentrack Group Ltd (ASX: GTK) announced that it has won a new contract with leading UK water retailer. The new contract is the largest in the UK’s open water market.

The company Gentract will be working with serves several thousand businesses with water and wastewater services.

NEW! Our #1 ASX ETF of 2019

Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) are changing the world of investing. But with so many on the ASX, it's hard to know which ETF will be a top performer in 2019.

Every financial Tom, Dick and Harry seems to 'launching' (read: flogging) an ETF to investors. In our humble opinion, most of them could be a waste of time - and money. Worse, many of them could fail!

Here's the best part: we're willing to release the name and ASX ticker code of the ETF we've identified as our #1 for 2019.

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Disclaimer: Any information contained in this article is limited to general financial/investment advice only. The information has not taken into account your specific needs, goals or objectives, so please consider consulting a licenced and trusted adviser before acting on the information. Please read The Rask Group’s Financial Services Guide (FSG) for more information. This article is authorised by Owen Raszkiewicz of The Rask Group, which is a corporate authorised representative No. 1264179 of Strawman Pty Ltd (ACN: 610 908 211) (AFSL: 501 223).