ASX closes in the green: Aus shares close 4.4% higher

Market Reports

by Ortenzia Borre

It was a bloodbath on the Australian share market today as investors saw a sea with stocks falling as much as 8 per cent, but market staged a late comeback in the dying minutes, erasing the day’s losses to finish in the green, closing 4.4 per cent higher. Cochlear (ASX:COH), Cooper (ASX:COE) and Viva Energy (ASX:VEA) were some of the stocks that rallied at the close although Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX:URW) dropped almost 20 per cent during trade with Travel companies also seeing huge losses after Flight Centre Travel Group (ASX:FLT) reporting the closure of up to 100 stores sending Qantas (ASX:QAN) and Sydney Airport (ASX:SYD) plummeting.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 235 points higher to finish at 5,305.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 121 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a lift of 73 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a rise of 197 points.
And the ASX200 futures are suggesting a further rally of a 292 point rise on Monday morning.

Company news

Popular fast food chain KFC has become the latest victim of the coronavirus. Collins Foods (ASX:CKF) have closed their Brisbane KFC restaurant after the company confirmed a team member tested positive to the virus. The worker, from the food chain’s Deagon store, in Brisbane's north, has been quarantined and all employees who worked recent shifts with the team member have been advised to self-isolate. Collins Foods (ASX:CKF) have stressed the health and wellbeing of their team members and customers is their number one priority and are working with the Queensland Health Department and are following their guidelines. This restaurant will remain closed until further notice. Shares in Collins Foods (ASX:CKF) closed 9.2 per cent lower at $5.96.

Looking at some more headlines:

Flight Centre Travel Group (ASX:FLT) will close up to 100 stores across Australia as the company withdrew its guidance following the recent global travel challenges.

In another hit to the travel industry, the Virgin Australia Group (ASX:VAH) announces additional reductions in capacity and cost measures to address the impact of COVID-19.

Suncorp’s (ASX:SUN) Chief Information Officer Sarah Harland will leave the Group before the end of the month.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best-performing sector is Health Care lost the least shedding 10.6 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Real Estate Investment Trust 0.9 per cent lower. 

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Cochlear (ASX:COH) rising 21.1 per cent to $216.11, followed by shares in Netwealth Group (ASX:NWL) and Viva Energy (ASX:VEA).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX:URW) dropping 14.1 per cent to $6.39, followed by shares in Qantas (ASX:QAN) and Collins Foods (ASX:CKF)

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 5.4 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 2.8 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 1.9 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,583 an ounce. 
Iron ore price has added 0.8 per cent US$90.75.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 1.9 per cent.
Light crude is US90 cents up at US$32.40 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 63.12 US cents.