A late session slump threatened to wipe out today’s gains, however the market managed to edge its way higher over the last 2 hours of trade, to finish the day 0.5 per cent higher. At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 26 points higher to finish at 5,243.
Over the week, the market has lost 245 points or 4.7 per cent. After losing ground over the first two trading sessions of the week, investors seemed to enter a holding pattern on Wednesday and the market has remained relatively flat over the last three sessions. As for the sectors, over the week every sector saw losses. Industrials weighed heaviest on the market dwindling 7.1 per cent
Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 136 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 12 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a fall of 57 points.
The ASX200 futures are bucking the trend, eyeing a 25 point rise on Monday morning.
Citi rates insurer AMP (ASX:AMP) as a Sell, with a 12 month price target of $1.25. The broker noted that capital net inflows of $1.3 billion were better than it expected, and believes that while there may be some form of capital return from the proceeds of the life sale, there are likely to be short-term hurdles and a possible delay in the transaction. As a result no dividends are forecast for 2020. Shares in AMP (ASX:AMP) closed 0.4 per cent higher at $1.30.
Aerial mapping company Aerometrex (ASX:AMX) is set to acquire Spookfish Australia Pty Ltd for around $1.5 million. Spookfish is also an Australian aerial imagery company. This acquisition will expand AMX’s extensive customer base and aligns with Aerometrex’s strategy of continuing to pursue growth opportunities despite the general economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 virus. The transaction is subject to the completion of due diligence. Under the agreement the parties agree to explore opportunities in respect of the analytic tools used by the EagleView group of companies and the offering of Aerometrex’s 3D modelling service in the United States. Shares in Aerometrex (ASX:AMX) closed 17.2 per cent higher at $1.47.
Pacific Smile (ASX:PSQ) has advised that it will begin reopening a number of its dental centres from next Monday onwards. The company expects that more than 70 of its 93 dental centres to be open in the short term.
NTM Gold ASX:NTM) has appointed Dr Michael Ruane as a Non-Executive Director following the resignation of Mr Rodney Foster from the Board.
Nickel miner, Western Areas (ASX:WSA) has reiterated its full year cost and production guidance.
Communications and IT services provider, Speedcast International (ASX:SDA) announced its intention initiate voluntary financial restructuring in accordance with chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code.
Best and worst performers of the day
The best performing sector was Energy adding just over 2 per cent while the worst performing sector was Industrials, shedding 0.7 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Southern Cross Media Group (ASX:SXL), rising nearly 13 per cent to close at 13 cents. Shares in Webjet (ASX:WEB) and NRW Holdings (ASX:NWH) followed higher.
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Nearmap (ASX:NEA), dropping nearly 6 per cent to close at $1.19. Shares in Lynas Corporation (ASX:LYC) and Challenger (ASX:CGF) followed lower.
Lower: Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.9 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.5 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has shed just over 1 per cent.
Wrapped up our four trading days this week lower: The Dow Jones lost 3.1 per cent, The S&P 500 lost 2.7 per cent and the tech heavy Nasdaq shed 1.8 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,724 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 0.7 per cent to US$84.46.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 0.8 per cent.
Light crude has added US$0.42 to US$16.92 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 63.45 US cents.