Energy sector drags on market: ASX closed 2.5% lower

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian sharemarket has recorded its worst session in three weeks today closing 2.5 per cent lower. Shares in Nine Entertainment (ASX:NEC) did well today as did Domain Holdings (ASX:DHG). Shares in the Southern Cross Media Group (ASX:SXL) and New Hope Corp (ASX:NHC) both saw declines. The Energy sector fell lower today and Infotech had the fewest losses.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 135 points lower to finish at 5, 353.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 122 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a fall of 13 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a drop of 32 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 111 point fall tomorrow morning.

Local economic news

Results from the first ABS Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey show that in the first week of April, around 12 per cent of Australians aged 18 and over with a job were working more hours than usual due to COVID-19, and around 24 per cent were working less hours. The survey found that around 3% of people who had a job in early March no longer had one by early April.

Company news (ASX:KGN) report that March saw record growth of the Community with the largest monthly increase in Active Customers since their IPO. Their third quarter Financial Year 2020 saw gross sales grow by more than 30 per cent. Gross Profit grew by more than 23 per cent. March Gross Profit grew more than 50 per cent. Adjusted EBITDA grew by more than 4 per cent. Shares in (ASX:KGN) closed 0.9 per cent lower at $6.51.  

Metcash (ASX:MTS) today announced the launch of an Equity Raising of up to $330 million through which Metcash is seeking to strengthen its balance sheet and enhance liquidity. The shares with institutional investors will be at $2.80 per share, which equals a 7.9 per cent discount to the last closing price.

Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) and its Joint Venture Partner Otway have issued Ocean Onyx rig operator Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc. with a notice of termination for the Ocean Onyx rig contract. The cancellation of the drilling contract has no impact on Beach’s FY20 production or underlying EBITDA.

Caltex Australia (ASX:CTX) and Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. have decided to not proceed with the acquisition proposal due to the high level of economic uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Infotech with the fewest losses at 0.7 per cent while the worst performing sector was Energy, shedding 4.6 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Nine Entertainment (ASX:NEC) rising 4.4 per cent to close at $1.20. Shares in Domain Holdings (ASX:DHG) and Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals (ASX:CUV) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Southern Cross Media Group (ASX:SXL) dropping 9.7 per cent to close at $0.14. Shares in New Hope Corp (ASX:RSG) and Estia Health (ASX:EHE) followed lower.

Asian markets

Mixed: Japan’s Nikkei has lost 1.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.2 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has added 0.3 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,675 an ounce.
Iron ore price has added 0.9 per cent at US$86.17.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 1.4 per cent.
Light crude is US$1.48 down at US$23.55 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 63.44 US cents.

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