The ASX 200 (INDEXASX: XJO)(^AXJO) is expected to open higher today, the USA’s S&P 500 Index (.INX) went up by 0.61% on Thursday.

Australian Dollar ($A) (AUDUSD): 69.78US cents

Dow Jones (DJI): up 0.71%

Oil (WTI): $US52.96 per barrel

Gold: $US1,335 per ounce

ASX Sharemarket News

In ASX sharemarket news, Magellan Financial Group Ltd (ASX: MFG) has released its monthly funds under management (FUM) report to investors to show how much money it was managing.

Despite receiving $264 million of net inflows during the month, the fund manager’s total FUM fell by $473 million due to global share markets falling. Magellan’s global equities FUM dropped from $62.38 billion to $60.71 billion over the month.

However, Magellan’s infrastructure FUM rose by approximately $1.1 billion and Australian FUM went up by about $100 million.

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Shopping centre business Vicinity Centres (ASX: VCX) has released its June 2019 estimated valuations to facilitate a potential debt capital market raising.

The overall portfolio net valuation has declined by 1.3%, which was impacted by declines in the Western Australian portfolio and pre-development centres. Chadstone Shopping Centre continues to build on its leadership position with “strong” sales growth contributing to a forecast 1.6% valuation increase.

Vicinity’s DFO centres are expected to achieve valuation growth on the back of successful product remixing.

The existing Victoria and New South Wales portfolios are forecast to continue the positive valuation trend.

Vicinity CEO Grant Kelley said: “A potential bond issuance will extend our weighted average debt maturity, decrease our weighting to bank debt, and with the recent fall in interest rates, enable us to take advantage of lower borrowing costs.”

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Challenger Ltd (ASX: CGF) announced that Funds Management Chief Executive Ian Saines has announced his intention to retire from Challenger.

Challenger has commenced an internal and external search for Mr Saines’ successor.

Challenger CEO Richard Howes said: “Ian will retire from Challenger later this year confident in the knowledge that he has built a talented team with the depth, strength and capability to continue to grow the business and to capture the opportunities ahead.”

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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).

Disclosure: Jaz owns shares of Challenger at the time of writing, but that could change at any time.