Markets close in the red: ASX closed 2.3% lower

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian shares market fell today to a 23-month low today, weighed down by the major banks. IOOF Holdings (ASX:IFL) Managing Director Christopher Kelaher and its Chairman George Venardos stepped down in the wake of proceedings brought down by APRA. The stock has fallen about 40 per cent in the last two trading sessions. Automotive Holdings Group (ASX:AHG) dropped below ten per cent whereas Regis Resources (ASX:RRL), Sandfire Resources (ASX:SFR) and Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST) we topping the best performers list. As for the sectors, Materials has the least losses with gold miners the best performers in the sector. Healthcare was dragging behind. At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 129 points lower, or 2.3 per cent lower to finish at 5,553.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 197 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 19 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing fall of 54 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 108 point fall tomorrow.

Economic news

The ABS released figures for housing finance today.
The trend estimate for the total value of dwelling finance commitments excluding alterations and additions fell 1.0 per cent in October. Owner occupied housing commitments fell 1.0 per cent and investment housing commitments fell 1.0 per cent. They also released Building Approvals for October. The trend estimate for total dwellings approved fell 1.1 per cent in October. The seasonally adjusted estimate for total dwellings approved fell 1.5 per cent in October.

Company news

Regional Express (ASX:REX) has fully hedged its fuel requirement for the second half of financial year 2019 with the recent sharp reduction in Brent oil prices to below USD60 per barrel. They would see a reduction in 2H FY19 fuel cost of $2.3 million if fuel had to be purchased at the same average price as the first half. Shares in Regional Express (ASX:REX) lost 0.3 per cent to $1.50

Macquarie Media (ASX:MRN) has today announced the resignation of Greg Hywood as a Director. Ms Karen Birner has also resigned as Acting Chief Financial Officer and additional Company Secretary. Macquarie Media (ASX: MRN) closed 10.2 per cent lower to $1.85

Telstra (ASX:TLS) says it has invested $386 million to support its national 5G rollout. The telco successfully secured between 30 to 80 MegaHertz (Mhz) nationwide in the 3.6 GigaHertz (Ghz) spectrum auction held by the Australian Communications and Media Authority. Combined with existing holdings, Telstra now has 60 Megahertz of continuous 5G spectrum in all major capital cities.

TPG Telecom (ASX:TPM) and joint venture partner, Mobile JV have successfully acquired 5G spectrum in the recent auction. Mobile JV will pay $263.3 million in early 2020 for the lots that it has purchased.

And Johns Lyng Group (ASX:JLG) has entered into a partnership with a WA based insurer, for the provision of domestic property insurance repair work on up to around 1000 properties a year. It covers both business as usual claims and claims made during peak events such as floods and storms.

Best and worst performers 

The sector with the least losses was Materials shedding 0.6 per cent while the worst performing sector was Healthcare, losing 3.7 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Regis Resources (ASX:RRL), rising 5.2 per cent to close at $4.44. Shares in Sandfire Resources (ASX:SFR) and Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Automotive Holdings Group (ASX:AHG),dropping 10.9 per cent to close at $1.47. Shares in Seven West Media (ASX:SWM) and Adelaide Brighton (ASX:ABC) followed lower.

Asian markets

lower:Japan’s Nikkei has lost 2.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 1.6 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.9 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,249 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 0.1 per cent to US$66.51 and its futures are pointing to a fall of 0.3 per cent.
Light crude is $1.12 up at $US52.61 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 72.15 US cents.