Wall Street futures plunge: ASX closes 0.8% lower

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

It has been a negative day of trade for the Australian share market. After opening in the red the local bourse managed to lose momentum to close 0.8 per cent. Wall Street set for a fall after Trump says trade talks are going ‘too slowly’ and threatens to dramatically increase China tariffs. CIMIC (ASX:CIM) shares had a bad day dropping by as much as 11 per cent. They have picked up somewhat as the afternoon moved on and are now 7 per cent lower. They released a clarification statement today following media reports earlier this week saying they are "in compliance with its disclosure obligations". As for the sectors, utilities led the best of the performers and information technology was the worst.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 52 points lower to finish at 6284.

Broker moves

Citi has maintained its buy position for Westpac (ASX:WBC) shares and has upgraded its 12 month price target from $27.44 to $30.00. They believe subdued results in FY19, should leave the bank well positioned in FY20 and beyond. Meanwhile, UBS rate Westpac shares as a sell. They list 12 month target price at $24.50 saying soft revenue targets continue.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 453 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 48 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing afall of 148 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 58 point fall tomorrow.

Company news

Macquarie Media (ASX:MRN) has amended its FY2019 EBITDA guidance reducing earnings to between $27 million and $29 million, down from between $29 million and $32 million advised on 15 February. Trading conditions have fallen below expectations. Macquarie Media owns 2GB in Sydney, 3AW in Melbourne and 4BC in Brisbane and as Perth’s 6PR. Shares in Macquarie Media (ASX:MRN) are flat at $1.75. Westpac's (ASX:WBC) half-year profit has fallen by almost a quarter as the cost of customer compensation mounts amid weaker business conditions.Their statutory net profit fell 24 per cent to $3.2 billion for the half-year to March 3. The bank paid out $617 million on major remediation and restructuring items including provisions for estimated customer refunds.

Monadelphous Group (ASX:MND) has announced Mondium, a company in which it is a 60 per cent shareholder has been awarded a $100 million contract with Talison Lithium for the design and construction of a new tailing retreatment processing plant in WA.

And there was excitement around Bubs (ASX:BUB) today as they announced that it has entered into a supply agreement with Fonterra Australia (ASX:FSF) to produce Bubs Organic new infant formula range.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Utlities the only one adding today adding 0.2 per cent while the worst performing sector was shedding 1.9 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Domain Holdings Australia (ASX:DHG), rising 2.8 per cent to close at $2.91. Shares in Regis Resources (ASX:RRL) and Vocus Group (ASX:VOC) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was CIMIC Group (ASX:CIM), dropping 7.1 per cent to close at $46.50. Shares in Bellamy's Australia (ASX:BAL) and Emeco Holdings (ASX:EHL) followed lower.

Asian markets

Mostly lower. Japan’s Nikkei is closed, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 3.2 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 5.9 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,282 an ounce.
Light crude is US$0.13 up at US$61.94 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 69.90 US cents.