The Australian share market continued to fall throughout the session today and finished with a loss of 0.43 per cent today with most of our sectors closing lower, as the world await the Friday deadline, for when $34 billion of tariffs on Chinese products come into effect take effect.
At the open we fell after Wall Street ended its session lower with Facebook losing over 5.5 per cent, fund manager, BlackRock losing 1.6 per cent and Apple losing 1.5 per cent.
Not helping the cause, a mixed bag of local economic news today. Financials led the fall today, with miners also losing steam even though the iron ore price held steady overnight at US$64.55, while its futures eyeing a dip of 0.3 per cent.
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 27 points or 0.43 per cent lower to finish at 6,183.
The Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 29 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 28 point fall.
Value of trades
$4.8 billion on volume of 631 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were CSL (ASX:CSL), ANZ (ASX:ANZ) and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA).
Retail sales ticked up by 0.4 per cent in May according to the ABS, beating economists expectations.
Australia’s trade surplus hit $827 million in May, an $355 million improvement, on the balance of goods and services from April. Despite the rise, it missed market and economist expectations, that it would jump to a surplus of $1.2 billion (in seasonally adjusted terms). The biggest change was a rise in non-monetary gold imports, which rose 23 per cent.
Platinum (ASX:PTM) led the financials lower today, tumbling 8.86 per cent. No news was announced. But in fact, one of its last announcements was quite upbeat, after its funds under management rose to $28 billion. It closed at $5.35.
Owner of IGA, Celebrations and Mitre10, Metcash (ASX:MTS) offered shareholders a $125 million buy-back, giving them to the option to sell some or all of their shares, by submitting a tender and Metcash will buy them back. The buyback equates to about 5.3 per cent of the company’s shares. Metcash says it will benefit all shareholders by improving its earnings per share and reducing the number of shares in the market.
Bapcor (ASX:BAP) has announced the sale of its Tyre and Wheel business in New Zealand, TRS, which generates about NZ$27 million in annual sales. It didn’t close a sale about, but settlement is booked for 3 July 2018.
Software company, Gentrack (ASX:GTK) announced it intends to raise around NZ$90 million, to repay its debt of an equal amount, so it can fund future growth. It also comes after it spent NZ$44 million on buying a leading provider of energy data analysis software and services in the UK, Evolve Parent Limited and Evolve Analytics Limited.
Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) inked a farm-in agreement with Prodigy Gold for its highly prospective Euro Project in the Northern Territory. Under the deal Newcrest will provide $12 million in funding over seven years to ultimately earn up to a 75 per cent interest in the project.
Change Financial (ASX:CCA) appointed a new CEO, Eric Bachman, to bring the company’s payment processing platform to the market. He’s worked with likes of Goldman Sachs, Yahoo, Westpac (ASX:WBC), PayPal, Deloitte. While, outgoing CEO Ash Shilkin will move to an Exec Director role within the company. At the same time it also announced it’s set to raise US$2.6 million via a placement and will increase its majority stake in the Australian-start up cryptocurrency Ivy Koin, which aims to address anti-money laundering concerns in the banking sector.
And in small companies, Anson Resources (ASX:ASN) rose a massive 67 per cent after announcing higher lithium and boron concentration levels at its Utah lithium project.
Best and worst performers of the day
The best performing sector was telcos adding 0.5 per cent while the worst performing sector was financials, shedding 0.7 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Afterpay Touch Group Limited (ASX:APT), rising 4.98 per cent to close at $9.91. Shares in Resolute Mining Limited (ASX:RSG) and Iluka Resources Limited (ASX:ILU) followed higher.
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Platinum Asset Management Limited (ASX:PTM), dropping 8.86 per cent to close at $5.35. Shares in Genworth Mortgage Insurance Australia Limited (ASX:GMA) and Magellan Financial Group Limited (ASX:MFG) followed lower.
Lower: Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.4 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 1.2 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.8 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,259 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.34 up at $US74.28 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 74.07 US cents.
Some of the most traded cryptocurrenices are trading lower: Bitcoin has fallen 2 per cent to US$6,512, Ethereum is about 4 per cent lower at US$462 and EOS has fallen about 4 per cent to US$8.76