The Australian marked tumbled today as the coronavirus continues to unsettle international markets causing investors to divest from oil, gas and travel stocks. Commodities with a high exposure to Chinese demand fell today – iron ore, copper and oil amongst the hardest hit. The ASX200 shed 1.34 per cent - every sector except for Utilities posting losses. The Australian dollar slid to below 66.9 US cents - its lowest level in over 10 years.
The S&P/ASX200 index
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 94 points lower to finish at 6,923.
December building approvals beat market expectations. The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released data on the number of dwellings in approved in December of last year. The total number of dwellings approved rose 2.1 per cent in December 2019, in trend terms. Even with this December uptick, the number of total dwellings over the 2019 calendar year was down 19.1 per cent compared to the previous year.
Dow futures are suggesting a 196 point rise.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 23 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a lift of 80 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 97 point slide tomorrow morning.
Health product company Jatenergy (ASX:JAT) developed a range of lactoferrin dairy products. These products help to module the immune system both systemically and in the gastrointestinal tract. Since December 2019 JAT has seen unprecedented demand in China for its Neurio ranges of dairy products which contain lactoferrin. It says “this demand appears to be driven by the emergence of the coronavirus”. In January of 2019 the sales of the Neurio lactoferrin brands amounted to $407,000. This has shot up to $3.44 million in January of this year. Future orders suggest that this growth trajectory will continue, with February orders so far coming in at $2 million and orders for March 2020 currently at $1.8 million. Shares in Jatenergy (ASX:JAT) closed 2 per cent lower at 5 cents.
The Australian Government has awarded rare earth producer, Lynas Corporation (ASX:LYC) Major Project Status to establish its new processing plant in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia.
A subsidiary of Invion (ASX:IVX), has signed an R&D services agreement worth over $250,000 with a leading China-based pharmaceutical group in the skin repair and treatment market.
MC Mining (ASX:MCM) Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director, David Brown will be stepping down after 7 and a half years at the company.
Briscoe Group (ASX:BGP) has achieved record sales for the 4th quarter ended 26 January 2020. Group sales were up 1.84 per cent for the quarter to $209.7 million.
Best and worst performers of the day
The best performing sector, and the only one posting a gain was Utilities adding 0.1 per cent while the worst performing sector was Energy, shedding 4.1 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Service Stream (ASX:SSM), rising 4.9 per cent to close at $2.76 Shares in Pro Medicus (ASX:PME) and Avita Medical (ASX:AVH) followed higher.
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Worley (ASX:WOR), dropping 8.5 per cent to close at $13.95. Shares in Oil Search (ASX:OSH) and IDP Education (ASX:IEL) followed lower.
Are Mixed: Japan’s Nikkei has lost 1.1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has gained 0.2 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 7.9 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,580 an ounce.
Iron ore price is US$84.94.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 7.9 per cent.
Light crude is 58 cents lower at US$51.56 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 67.04 US cents.