Eclipx falls 54%, miners cop selling bracing for cyclone: Aus shares close 0.3% lower

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market fell for the second day, with four top 200 companies shares falling over 10 per cent Eclipx Group (ASX:ECX) shares hit an all-time low tumbling over 50 per cent, while New Hope (ASX:NHC) continued to see sharp selling for the second day after releasing positive results, while Platinum Asset Management (ASX:PTM) fell into the red on its co-founder selling down his position.

Meantime, miners copped the most selling at the sector level, after tropical cyclone Veronica threatens Western Australia’s Pilbara region, where much of Australia's iron ore and lithium is produced. Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) saw its shares fall 6.7 per cent.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 0.3 per cent or 20 points lower at 6,165.

Futures

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 34 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 2 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a fall of 6 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 22 point fall tomorrow morning

Local economic news

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) will increase its scrutiny of how banks, insurers and superannuation trustees are managing the financial risks of climate change to their businesses.

After conducting its first climate risk survey, the body is calling on large banks to take action, instead of just gaining awareness of the risks to their businesses. It comes as APRA surveyed 38 large banks, insurers and superannuation trustees on climate-related risks and it found the majority of banks considering climate-related financial risks as part of their risk management frameworks.

Company news

Multinational salary packaging firm McMillan Shakespeare (ASX:MMS) has called off its $911 million takeover of Eclipx Group (ASX:ECX) after Eclipx announced its net profit plunged 42.4 per for the first five months of the 2019 financial year. Eclipx was expecting single-digit growth in FY19 compared to FY18. Eclipx shares plunged 55.97 per cent after the announcements, closing at $0.83. However, McMillan Shakespeare (ASX:MMS) shares rose 3.6 per cent to $13.21.

Agricultural chemical company Nufarm (ASX:NUF) announced its headline HY2018 profit swung 214 per cent down to a net loss of $13.6 million on the back of a challenging half year to 31 January 2019. The company says Australia and Europe were hit with dry weather, which impacted earnings in both regions, while product availability issues further impacted results in Europe.

Esteemed fund manager, Platinum Asset Management (ASX:PTM) advised Kerr Neilson, co-founder and controller sold his and Mrs Judith Neilson’s 60 million shares in the company, equating to about 10 per cent of the issued shares to pursue arts and philanthropy, as well as diversifying their investments. The off-market sale took place yesterday at $5 per share. Kerr retains 42.97 per cent of the company, nevertheless, Platinum Asset Management (ASX:PTM) shares hit multi-year lows today falling 11.1 per cent to $4.89.

Synlait Milk (ASX:SM1) reported a 9.6 per cent decline in first half NPAT to $37.3 million, down on last year's $41.3 million. Revenue lifted 7 per cent to $470.9 million on higher sales volumes across its powders and cream businesses.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was S&P/ASX Utilities adding 0.6 per cent while the worst performing sector was X S&P/ASX Materials shedding 1.6 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Seven West Media Limited (ASX:SWM), rising 5.1 per cent to close at $0.52. Shares in Corporate Travel Management Limited (ASX:CTD) and Sigma Healthcare (ASX:SIG)followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Eclipx Group (ASX:ECX), dropping 55.9 per cent to close at $0.83. Shares in Nufarm Limited (ASX:NUF)and New Hope Corporation Limited (ASX:NHC) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei is steady, 0.01 per cent higher, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.5 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has shed 1 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,305 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 1.2 per cent to US$87.23
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 4.3 per cent.
Light crude is $0.09 lower at US$59.29 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 70.76 US cents.