China & US trade war worries: Aus shares 1.9% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market fell at the open on the back of trade war fears after the Dow Jones lost 2.9 per cent or about 700 points when the Trump administration unveiled $60 billion of tariffs designed to stop Chinese intellectual property theft.

The ASX S&P/ASX 200 is 1.96 per cent lower or 111 points lower at 6,826.

But the Australian share market is not excepted to make the same losses as Wall Street, and we are more closely aligned with the Toronto Stock Exchange which lost 1.8 per cent. The ASX futures are eyeing a fall of 100 points.

All of the sectors are trailing today, with miners seeing the worst losses, down about 3 per cent at the minute, with financials, energy, health and staples following.

Mining giants, Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) is over 4 per cent lower and BHP (ASX:BHP) is 3.8 per cent lower. Not helping the equation was the slight drop in the iron ore price.

As for energy stocks, the likes of Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) is over 3 per cent lower with Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) following after the crude oil price lost steam from yesterday’s one year highs.

Company news 

Gold producer, Kirkland Lake Gold (ASX:KLA) declared a quarterly dividend of 2 Canadian cents per share, payable on 13 April 2018. It’s the company’s fourth quarterly dividend payment made, after it introduced a dividend policy last year in March. Its shares last traded at $21.25

Cleanaway Waste Management’s (ASX:CWY) takeover of Toxfree (ASX:TOX) is being reviewed by the competition watchdog, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, with the ACCC extending its findings due date by about 4 weeks. Toxfree says findings should be handed down by 26 April 2018. As such Toxfree will seek orders from the Federal Court to postpone the scheme of arrangement date from 6 April to 3 May 2018. Cleanaway Waste Management shares are trading 2 per cent lower at $1.47 while Tox Free is trading flat at $3.42.

Webjet (ASX:WEB) was trading higher earlier but now flat lining, after it announced it inadvertently overstated its recently purchased business, JacTravel’s depreciation and amortisation. JacTravel’s net profit, EPS and EBIT are all expected to be higher after they were reclassified. 

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is utilities losing 0.4 per cent to 7,449 points while the worst performing sector is materials, shedding 3.1 per cent to 11,115 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG), rising 1.4 per cent to $1.25, followed by shares in Domino's Pizza Enterprises (ASX: DMP) and Retail Food Group (ASX:RFG).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Bluescope Steel (ASX:BSL), dropping 6 per cent to $14.76, followed by shares in Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) and South32 (ASX:S32).

Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,337 an ounce.
One Australian dollar is buying 77.07 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin has fallen 4 per cent to US$8,642, Ethereum fallen about 6 per cent to US$534 and EOS has fallen about 4 per cent to US$6.77.