Australian shares finished flat today after rising as much as 0.3 per cent earlier in the session. But the flat finish still leaves January, 3.8 per cent higher. A good start for 2019 considering the ASX lost about 7 per cent in 2018.
No economic news came out today however Citi advised that financings by junior and intermediate miners rebounded in December, following two consecutive months of declines. The increase in financing was based on value and volume.
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 1 point lower (0.02 per cent lower) to finish at 5,773.
Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 179 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 19 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing fall of 62 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 15 point fall morning
Costa Group Holdings Limited (ASX:CGC), shares rose 4.5 per cent to $4.85 up the most earlier, out of top 200 stocks on the ASX. It comes after its shares fell 40 per cent, hitting a year low after it gave a profit warning on 10 January.
One of the most popular stocks today was Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) which announced a $2.1 to $2.3 billion gain of the demerger of Coles. Meantime, its 2019 half-year sales for Kmart rose 1 per cent in the, while total Target sales rose 0.2 per cent. .
Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR) reached a major milestone, declaring commercial production at its Balama graphite mine in Mozambique. Its production was in line with guidance, in Quarter 4 2018 and full year production, which hit 104kt.
Retail Food Group (ASX:RFG) has responded to the Australian Financial Review’s story about the potential $100 million sale of Crust Gourmet Pizzas, saying, it is ‘seeking to reduce its debt by various means, including the investigation of the possible sale of assets’, but no agreements have been reached. RFG also says the amount quoted for Crust’s potential sale, far exceeds expectations.
Best and worst performers of the day
The best performing sector was S&P/ASX Consumer Staples adding 0.4 per cent, followed by Financials, Telcos and Industrials. The worst performing sector was Consumer Discretionary, shedding 1 per cent. followed by Energy and Materials,
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Seven West Media Limited (ASX:SWM), rising 4.7 per cent to close at $0.56. Shares in Nine Entertainment Holdings Limited (ASX:NEC) and Costa Group Holdings Limited (ASX:CGC) followed higher.
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Bluescope Steel Limited (ASX:BSL), dropping 5.2 per cent to close at $11.55. Shares in Automotive Holdings Group. (ASX:AHG)and Whitehaven Coal Limited (ASX:WHC) followed lower.
Mixed: Japan’s Nikkei has gained 1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has fallen 1.4 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has shed 0.6 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,291 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 0.1 per cent to US$73.45
Iron ore futures are fall of 0.4 per cent.
Light crude is $1 lower at $US51.91 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.85 US cents