Trade war fears rattle markets: Aus shares close 2% lower

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market lost 2.2 per cent this week, with the bulk of losses coming today on trade war fears with the ASX200 losing 117 points, or 2 per cent, finishing at 5,821.

The ASX fell at the open on the back after the Dow Jones lost 2.9 per cent when Trump’s administration unveiled $60 billion of tariffs to stop Chinese intellectual property theft. By afternoon China allegedly responded with $3 billion of retaliatory tariffs on US goods.

All of the sectors closed, with miners the biggest drag, Mining giants, Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) lost per cent BHP (ASX:BHP) saw a lot of selling. Not helping the equation was the slight drop in the iron ore price.

Futures

The Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 162 points up.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 117 point fall.

Value of trades

$6.4 billion on volume of 818 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RIO).

Company news 

Webjet (ASX:WEB) announced it inadvertently overstated its recently purchased business, JacTravel’s depreciation and amortisation. And as a result, JacTravel’s net profit, EPS and EBIT were adjusted higher after being reclassified. Its shares closed 1.2 per cent to $11.28.

Tabcorp Holdings (ASX:TAH) has priced a US$1.4 billion issue of long-term notes to investors in the US private placement market to repay the $1.8 billion (AUD) bridge financing facility for the merger/combination with Tatts Group (ASX:TTS) and to repay existing debt.

The date of the shareholder meeting to approve Cleanaway Waste Management’s (ASX:CWY) takeover of Toxfree (ASX:TOX) subject to court approval, is going to be moved from 6 April to 3 May.

Fisher and Paykel’s (ASX:FPH) Optiflow nasal high flow therapy has shown significant benefits for children in new Australian research.

Metro Mining (ASX:MMI) has flown non-essential staff and contractors out of the Bauxite Hills mine as a precautionary measure due to the arrival of Tropical cyclone Nora.

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.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was utilities adding 0.8 per cent to close at 7,416. The worst performing sector was materials, shedding 2.7 per cent to close at 11,159. points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG), rising 3.3 per cent to close at $1.27. Shares in Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST) and Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX:NCM) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Bluescope Steel (ASX:BSL), dropping 5.9 per cent to close at $14.78. Shares in Mineral Resources Limited (ASX:MIN) and South32 Limited (ASX:S32) followed lower.

Asian markets 

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 4.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 3 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has shed 3.6 per cent.

Wall Street

Wrapped up the four trading days this week lower: The Dow Jones lost 4.1 per cent, The S&P 500 lost 4.1 per cent and the tech heavy Nasdaq lost 4.4 per cent, while the 100 index lost 5.1 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,338 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.96 lower at $US64.21 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 77.21 US cents.