The Australian market dropped 2.3 per cent today fuelled by renewed fears of the coronavirus spread. All sectors ended the day in negative territory with travel and entertainment stocks taking a hard hit. Shares in Webjet (ASX:WEB) are down over 8 per cent; Crown Resorts (ASX:CWN) lost over 6 per cent; and the Star Entertainment Group (ASX:SGR) retreated almost 5 per cent. Flight Centre Travel Group (ASX:FLT) also lost almost 5 per cent on news that the coronavirus had adversely affected travel operations in China, Singapore and Malaysia to the tune of around $625 million during the 2019 year. The negative sentiment generated by the coronavirus has also pushed the Australian dollar to its lowest point in over a decade.
The S&P/ASX200 index
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 161 points lower to finish at 6,978.
Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 408 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 45 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a fall of 166 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 161 point fall tomorrow morning.
UBS rates furniture and renovation retailer, Adairs (ASX:ADH) as a buy with a 12-month price target of $2.75. This comes on the back of a solid earnings result - Sales rose 8.6 per cent, with online up 30 per cent. The company has reiterated its financial year guidance, however the broker is feeling optimistic following a strong trading update for the start of the 2020 financial year. Shares in Adairs (ASX:ADH) closed 0.4 per cent higher at $2.60.
Household goods manufacturer Pental (ASX:PTL) has reported a 2.6 per cent increase in net profit after tax to $1.48 million for the half year ended 29 December 2019. Total sales revenue rose 15.1 per cent to $55.26 million. Earnings before interest and tax climbed 6.2 per cent to $2.2 million compared to the previous corresponding period. The company says its performance was bolstered by positive Australian and New Zealand sales figures despite a tough retail environment. Shares in Pental (ASX:PTL) closed 1.5 per cent higher at 34 cents.
Lottery provider Jumbo Interactive (ASX:JIN) reported net profit after tax rose 14 per cent to $14.4 million on the same corresponding period.
Healthcare provider, nib Group (ASX:NHF) reported net profit after tax is at $57.1 million, down 23.1 per cent on the prior corresponding period.
Out of home advertising agency, oOh!media (ASX:OML) announced its financial results for the 2019 calendar year showing underlying Net Profit After Tax at $37.9 million - down 23 per cent on prior year.
Steel product producer, BlueScope (ASX:BSL) reported a 1H FY2020 net profit after tax (NPAT) of $185.8 million, down 70 per cent on 1H FY2019, and an underlying NPAT of $199.6 million.
Best and worst performers of the day
The best performing sector was Communications losing the least, down 1.4 per cent while the worst performing sector was Energy, shedding 3.95 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Saracen Mineral Holdings (ASX:SAR), rising 7.4 per cent to close at $4.50. Shares in Chorus (ASX:CNU) and Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG) followed higher.
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Reliance Worldwide Corporation (ASX:RWC), dropping 26.5 per cent to close at $3.42. Shares in EML Payments (ASX:EML) and Pinnacle Investment Management (ASX:PNI) followed lower.
Japan’s Nikkei is closed due to the Emperor’s birthday, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 1.5 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has shed 2.3 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,662 an ounce.
Iron ore price added 0.3 per cent to US$92.25.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 1.4 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.50 lower at US$53.38 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 66.07 US cents.