WHSP's co-owned Palla Pharma settles codeine poppy dispute: ASX closes 0.4% lower

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The local share market started the week with a loss of 0.4 per cent. After slipping into negative territory at the open, the local bourse remained in the red throughout, only briefing trading in the black momentarily. Not helping the cause, the Aussie dollar lost strength also throughout the session, nearing one month lows. While the iron ore price continues to trade at multi-year highs. 

The Telco sector was the hardest hit, falling over 2 per cent, with Materials following, losing 1 per cent. While only a handful of sectors closed with a profit, with Utilities up the most, after AGL (ASX:AGL) rose about 2 per cent, after it wiped its hands of potentially taking over the telco, Vocus Group (ASX:VOC). As for Vocus, its chart didn’t look so pretty, rubbing out most of this year’s gains.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 23 points lower to finish at 6,531.

Looking back to Wall Street on Friday, US stocks closed in the red, with investors awaiting this week’s Federal Reserve announcements from its 18-19 June meeting, while chipmaker Broadcom also weighting, after posting weaker than expected revenue. And now the US futures are suggesting a positive start to the US session when trade resumes. 

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 43 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 5 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a lift of 26 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 24 point fall.

Company news

TPI Enterprises Limited (ASX:TPE) which has been renamed Palla Pharma has settled a high codeine poppy dispute with Tasmanian Alkaloids. The settlement allows Palla Pharma (formerly TPI Enterprise) to continue its codeine business. TPE is one of the nine companies licensed globally to manufacture narcotic raw material for the international pharmaceutical market and top 200 company, Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Company (ASX:SOL) owns about 19.9 per cent of the company. The claim and cross-claim in the Federal Court of Australia, will be closed. Each party will pay their own legal costs. Shares in Palla Pharma (formerly TPI Enterprises) (ASX:TPE) closed 0.9 per cent higher at $1.11.

Vocus Group (ASX:VOC) shares have given up most of 2019’s gains, falling 25 per cent after AGL withdrew from its $3.02 billion ($4.85 per share) takeover offer of the telco. It comes after EQT also withdrew its takeover offer to buy VOC for $3.3 billion ($5.25 per share). Meanwhile AGL (ASX:AGL) shares went the other way, gaining 1.6 per cent after scrapping the takeover plans and AGL's shares hit a four-day high.

ANZ (ASX:ANZ) New Zealand confirmed its CEO David Hisco will leave the company under a cloud after the bank had ‘concern about the characterisation of certain transactions following an internal review of personal [David Hisco’s] expenses’. David does not accept all of the concerns raised but admitted ‘the characterisation of the expenses’ fell 'short of the standards required’. Antonia Watson was hired as Acting CEO. .

Cochlear (ASX:COH) received US FDA approval for its new Nucleus Profile Plus Series implant. The company says it will commence an immediate US launch. The implant is designed for routine MRI scans without the need to remove the internal magnet.

IPOs

Listed investment trust, Regal Investment Fund (ASX:RF1) started trading today. It issued shares at $2.50 and started trading on the ASX at $2.50 and it closed at $2.50.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Utilites adding 0.7 per cent while the worst performing sector was Telcos, shedding 2.3 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Emeco Holdings Limited (ASX:EHL), rising 12.5 per cent to close at $1.99. Shares in Nanosonics Limited (ASX:NAN) and Cleanaway Waste Management Limited (ASX:CWY) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Vocus Group Limited (ASX: VOC), dropping 24.5 per cent to close at $30.29. Shares in Pilbara Minerals Limited (ASX:PLS) and Afterpay Touch Group Limited (ASX:APT) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.03 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has gained 0.7 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has added 0.4 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,340 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 0.1 per cent to US$110.30
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 2.4 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.38 up at US$52.77 a barrel. [After it’s fallen from its 2019 highs US$66 in April]
One Australian dollar is buying 68.75 US cents.