It has been a bearish afternoon on the Australian share market. After opening higher, the market gained momentum during the morning. It peaked at 1pm, then lost momentum over the afternoon to finish 0.4 per cent lower at the close. As for the sectors, we saw a sea of red with only Energy and Consumer Staples managing to make modest gains today.
The S&P/ASX200 index
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 28 points lower to finish at 6,688.
Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 69 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 13 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a lift of 42 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 8 point fall tomorrow.
The Reserve Bank of Australia released private sector credit figures for the month of August. We saw a 0.2 per cent increase in total private sector credit. This follows a 0.2 per cent increase in July. However, it fell short of the market consensus, with investors expecting to see a 0.3 per cent rise.
UBS has downgraded Alumina (ASX:AWC) from a neutral to a sell, with a 12-month price target of $2.10. This follows UBS’s analysis that the metals and minerals environment will be subdued leading into 2020. Shares in Alumina (ASX:AWC) closed 0.4 per cent lower at $2.37.
Credit Suisse has downgraded travel company, Webjet (ASX:WEB) from a buy to a neutral, with a 12-month price target of $11. Credit Suisse expressed concerns about the worrying trend of earnings downgrades. It comes as the company announced its receivables exposure to Thomas Cook is two thirds of its business to business earnings for the 2019 financial year. Credit Suisse has reduced underlying earnings estimates by 10 per cent and 11 per cent for the 2020 and 2021 financial years respectively. Shares in Webjet (ASX:WEB) closed 4.3 per cent lower at $10.91.
Medical imaging company, Integral Diagnostics (ASX:IDX) has appointed Dr Jacqueline Milne as an executive director, effective 1 November 2019. This comes as Dr Sally Sojan resigns, effective from the same date. Chair of Integral Diagnostics, Helen Kurincic says “IDX continues to champion its clinical leadership collaborative model…We look forward to Dr Jacqueline Milne’s contribution noting her multidisciplinary experience originally as a radiographer and then as a radiologist.” Shares in Integral Diagnostics (ASX:IDX) closed 2.8 per cent higher at $3.27.
Nufarm (ASX:NUF) is set to sell its South American crop protection and seed treatment operations in Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Chile to Japanese Sumitomo Chemical Company for $1.18 billion.
Dairy company, Fonterra’s (ASX:FSF), has seen Australian milk production decrease 8.4 per cent in July compared to the same period last year.
ResApp (ASX:RAP) has flagged top-line results from its prospective, blinded at-home obstructive sleep apnoea study.
Downer EDI (ASX:DOW) non-executive director Annabelle Chaplain will retire at the conclusion of the company’s AGM on 7 November 2019.
Best and worst performers of the day
The best performing sector was Energy adding 0.2 per cent while the worst performing sector was Info Tech, shedding 1.3 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Nufarm (ASX:NUF), rising 26.5 per cent to close at $5.64. Shares in Costa Group Holdings (ASX:CGC) and Mayne Pharma (ASX:MYX) followed higher.
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Webjet (ASX:WEB), dropping 4.3 per cent to close at $10.91. Shares in NIB Holdings (ASX:NHF) and Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG) followed lower.
Mixed: Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.6 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.5 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.3 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,489 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 0.1 per cent to US$90.85.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 2.7 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.50 lower at US$55.91 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 67.50 US cents.