The Australian share market made a final dash into positive territory, closing with a gain of about 5 points or 0.1 per cent. Snapping our two-day downward trend.
Over half of the sectors made gains today, with Healthcare and Materials gaining the most, about 0.8 per cent. As for the sectors that capped gains, tech stocks fell the most, losing over 3 per cent after share registry and financial services provider, Link Administration (ASX:LNK) shares hit an all-time low, $5.97, wiping out about four year of gains since it IPO’d in 2015.
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 (ASX:XJO) index closed 5 points higher to finish at 6,397. That's 1.7 per cent away from the 11.5 year highs the market hit last week.
Over the week, the market has lost 59 points or 0.9 per cent.
Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 202 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 22 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a fall of 59 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 4 point fall Monday morning.
The Reserve Bank of Australia released data showing that private sector credit for the month of April gained 0.2 per cent on the prior month. It fell short of consensus expectation of a 0.3 per cent rise. Year on year April saw a 3.7 per cent rise in private sector credit.
Eclipx Group (ASX:ECX) shares rose to a two-month high today after it announced it will be renewing its senior leadership team. It’s also ‘prepared the way for divestments’ of its non-core businesses, being Grays, Right2Drive and Commercial Equipment. Its Group 1H19 net profit after tax and amortisation (NPATA) fell 62 per cent to $13.8 million in the six months to 31 March (compared to the pcp), while it declared a statutory loss $120.3 million after tax, a deterioration compared to the first half of 2018’s profit $25.0 million (after tax). Shares in Eclipx Group (ASX:ECX) closed 29.5 per cent higher at $1.12. Year-on-year its shares have fallen by 73 per cent.
Early breast cancer detection company, Volpara Health Technologies (ASX:VHT) has announced its revenue grew 78 per cent in the financial year to 31 March 2019. Its gross margin per cent increased to 7 per cnet, while its net loss increased by 33 per cent to $NZ11.7 million. Shares in Volpara Health Technologies (ASX:VHT) closed flat at $1.85. Year-on-year its shares have gained 114 per cent.
Link Administration Holdings (ASX:LNK) announced full year operating NPATA to 30 June 2019, will be between $195 - 205 million (a drop of 6 per cent compared to FY2018’s $206.7 million). The software provider also advised operating EBITDA will be about $350 to 360 million (stronger than FY2018’s $335 million). However, Sequoia Investment Management (ASX:SEQ) advised as Link shaved its full year guidance by 6 per cent, it was not worthy of the share price reaction today, after it shares dropped over 20 per cent.
Hong Kong billionaire Lawrence Ho has agreed to purchase almost half of James Packer's shares in Crown Resorts (ASX:CWN) at about $13.00 per share. Mr Packer’s private investment vehicle, Consolidated Press Holdings agreed to sell a 20 per cent stake in Crown to Lawrence Ho's Melco Resorts and Entertainment for around $1.76 billion. Mr Ho has signalled that he has an appetite to increase his stake once he clears foreign investment regulatory hurdles. He also says there would be opportunities for the two casino empires to work together on marketing and cross-referrals to attract VIP gamers to their respective resorts.
Global packaging companies Amcor (ASX:AMC) and Bemis (NYSE:BMS) have received regulatory clearance from the US Department of Justice for their merger. The approval is conditional upon the sale of Amcor assets located in the US to Tekni-Plex. All antitrust and other regulatory clearances for the transaction are now complete with scheme implementation expected on 11 June 2019.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Health Care, adding 0.9 per cent while the worst performing sector was Information Technology, shedding 3.3 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Eclipx Group (ASX:ECX), rising 29.5 per cent to close at $1.12. Shares in Lynas Corporation (ASX:LYC) and Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) followed higher.
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Link Administration Holdings (ASX:LNK), dropping 23.1 per cent to close at $5.97. Shares in Appen (ASX:APX) and St Barbara (ASX:SBM) followed lower.
Lower: Japan’s Nikkei has lost 1.7 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.4 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.1 per cent.
Wrapped up our four trading days this week lower: The Dow Jones lost 1.7 per cent, The S&P 500 lost 1.3 per cent and the tech heavy Nasdaq lost 0.9 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,293 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 2.2 per cent to US$103.87.
Light crude is US$2.40 down at US$56.41 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 69.13 US cents.