The Australian share market extended it’s losses today closing 3.4 per cent lower despite the Reserve Bank of Australia announcing a stimulus package. Super retail Group (ASX:SUL), shares took a real hit today dropping over 35 per cent. Shares in Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) remained steady despite an earthquake near its Kennecott mine near Salt Lake City, in Utah in the US. The iron ore price rose. The Australian dollar continued to drop this afternoon now standing at below 56 cents against the US dollar.
The S&P/ASX200 index
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 170 points down to finish at 4,783.
Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 849 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a fall of 92 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a fall of 222 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 72 point fall tomorrow morning.
Local economic news
The Reserve Bank of Australia has cut official interest rates to a record low of 0.25 per cent as it seeks to protect the economy from the financial fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.
Australia's population grew by 1.5 per cent during the year ending 30 September 2019, according to the latest figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
Australia's trend unemployment rate remained steady at 5.1 per cent in February 2020, for a third consecutive month.
Insurance company FINEOS Corporation PLC (ASX:FCL) has signed a new software license agreement with the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It’s for the FINEOS Platform to support its newly formed Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML), for paid leave absence management in the cloud. The mid-sized contract has an initial 5-year term and all the revenue associated with the contract for FY20 has been included in the recent increased revenue guidance. Shares in FINEOS Corporation PLC (ASX:FCL) closed 1.3 per cent higher at $2.35.
Qantas (ASX:QAN) and Jetstar are to suspend scheduled international flights from late March, following latest government travel advice regarding the coronavirus with some ongoing ad hoc services possible. Two-thirds of employees to be temporarily stood down to preserve as many jobs as possible longer term.
Accessories company Lovisa (ASX:LOV) says their suppliers and distribution hub in China have begun to return to normal levels, however they continue to experience delays in freight movements out of China. Meanwhile all of their stores in France and Spain have been closed since Sunday 14th March.
Domino’s Pizza Enterprises (ASX:DMP) has made the decision, after consultation with our franchisees in France, to close all stores in the country for a period of 15 days – effective immediately.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Utilities adding 3.1 per cent while the worst performing sector was REITS, shedding 14.8 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Netwealth Group (ASX:NWL), rising 16.1 per cent to close at $6.70. Shares in Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) and Brambles (ASX:BXB) followed higher.
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Super retail Group (ASX:SUL), dropping 35.1 per cent to close at $3.58. Shares in Flight Centre Travel Group (ASX:FLT) and CIMIC Group (ASX:CIM) followed lower.
Lower: Japan’s Nikkei has lost 1.5 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 4.6 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 2.5 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,470 an ounce.
Iron ore price has added 0.6 per cent at US$91.71..
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 4.3 per cent.
Light crude is US$2.40 up at US$22.77 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 55.79 US cents.