Challenger closes 13.8pc higher

Healthcare rose 0.7 per cent to a fresh record high, supported largely by CSL which jumped 0.9 per cent to $325.73. The healthcare heavyweight will release its half year profit result on Wednesday.
Cochlear was among the handful of healthcare stocks to go backwards, sliding 3.4 per cent to $236.47 after downgrading its guidance on disruptions caused by the coronavirus outbreak in China.

Elsewhere, utilities and materials added 0.6 per cent, financials 0.5 per cent while consumer staples, consumer discretionary and REITs lagged the broader market, only lifting 0.4 per cent for the session.

Investment manager Challenger Financial was top performer on the 200, soaring 13.9 per cent to $10.10 on the back of a strong half yearly profit update.
Steadfast Group jumped 5.6 per cent to $3.99 while Avita Medical gained 5.2 per cent to $0.805, rounding out the top three list. Domino’s Pizza receives an honourable mention, climbing 4.7 per cent to close at $57.55.

On the downside, Evolution mining slumped 3.9 per cent to $3.90. High-flying retailer JB Hi-Fi also hit turbulence following a downgrade from Citi, pulling back from record highs hit in the previous session to close down 3.9 per cent to $42.95.
Webjet shares remained pressured by the coronavirus outbreak, sliding an additional 2.9 per cent to $12.28.
For the session, 141 companies on the 200 gained, 48 fell while 11 were unchanged.


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