ASX Bloodbath: Aus shares 7.8% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Ortenzia Borre

The Australian share market opened to a bloodbath this morning dropping 7 per cent within the first 15 minutes of trade. It was a sea of red with not a single stock inside the top 200 trading in the green and now tracking 7.8 per cent lower at noon. Overnight Wall Street entered into its second emergency trading halt for the week, suffering its largest one day decline since 1987’s Black Monday after US President Donald Trump suspended European flights for 30 days and World Health Organisation upgraded the Coronavirus to a pandemic.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 414 points down at 4,891. On the futures market the SPI is 355 points lower or 6.7 per cent.

Broker moves

Macquarie has rated Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) as an Outperform. With Fortescue Metals' share price down 13% in seven days prior to today despite unchanged iron ore prices, the broker notes the stock is trading on a spot price-earnings multiple of 3.8x and offering a 20% FY21 free cash flow yield. Given the broker expects the bulk of this to be returned to shareholders, a 20% dividend yield is possible. Outperform reiterated, target unchanged at $12.40. Shares in Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) are currently 1.3 per cent higher at $8.90.

Company news

Ooh! Media (ASX:OML) reported that despite a challenging market, the company delivered a 1% increase in revenue, in line with the broader Out of Home market, from leveraging its diversified portfolio. The 1% increase in pro forma revenue translated to a 2% decline in gross profit to $283.3 million. In this morning’s annual report to shareholders Chairman Tony Faure said declining business and consumer confidence and weaker economic conditions resulted in a decrease in overall advertising spend although summarised the company remained focused on the implementation of its strategy and disciplined on cost and capital management. Shares in Ooh! Media (ASX:OML) are currently 7.9 per cent lower at $1.46.

Best and worst performers

The sector with the fewest losses is Consumer Staples down 3.3 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Industrials losing the most at 10.2 per cent. 

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is IDP Education (ASX:IEL) rising 2.4 per cent to $16.90, followed by shares in Mayne Pharma Group (ASX:MYX) and Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX:URW) dropping 18.9 per cent to $6.04, followed by shares in Flight Centre Travel (ASX:FLT) and Sydney Airport (ASX:SYD).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,577 an ounce.
Iron ore price is 0.8 per cent up at US$90.75.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.5 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 62.97US cents.