Lower fruit sales hit Costa Group: ASX 0.1% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market has fallen lower at noon and is now tracking 0.1 per cent lower. Media companies fared well today with Nine Entertainment (ASX:NEC) and Seven West Media (ASX:SWM) topping the best performers list. Shares in Costa Group (ASX:CGC) were hit hard this morning as they reported lower-than-expected tomato, berry and avocado sales. BHP Group (ASX:BHP) is also weighing the index. Energy is the sector leading the pack at the moment – with Consumer Staples shedding over 1 per cent. The S&P/ASX 200 index is 7 points lower at 5772. On the futures market the SPI is 9 points lower.

Company news

Produce supplier Costa Group Holdings (ASX:CGC) has experienced subdued demand in a number of categories, namely tomato, berry and avocado during December 2018. Trading conditions in January also appear to be slower than planned at this stage. This patchy demand has been reflected in reduced pricing for a number of product lines. The citrus ‘off season’ which reflects the biennial nature of this crop also finished earlier than expected. These factors will result in a reduction to the previously guided interim FY18 forecast ending December 2018. Shares in Costa Group Holdings (ASX:CGC) are trading 34.5 per cent lower at $4.83.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Energy, adding 0.7 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Consumer Staples, shedding 1.9 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Nine Entertainment Co Holdings (ASX:NEC), rising 5.7 per cent to $1.48, followed by shares in Seven West Media (ASX:SWM) and Beach Energy (ASX:BPT).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Costa Group Holdings (ASX:CGC), dropping 34.5 per cent to $4.83, followed by shares in BHP Group (ASX:BHP) and REA Group (ASX:REA).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,293 an ounce.
Iron ore is trading 0.8 per cent lower at $73.90.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.72 US cents