ASX tumbles as miners weigh, AusNet soars 17.7%: Aus shares down 1.5% at noon

Market Reports

by Lauren Evans

The Australian sharemarket is down heavily to start the week as mining giants fall on lower iron-ore prices. At noon, the ASX/200 is 1.5 per cent or 112.6 points lower at 7291.1. The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 102 points.

The local bourse is under pressure with all sectors in the red, except utilities, which is up 2.2 per cent. Materials, energy, technology and financials are leading the broad declines.

The price of iron ore has tumbled over 20 per cent, with analysts forecasting a continued free fall in the commodity price. Champion Iron (ASX:CIA) has sunken 12.1 per cent, BHP (ASX:BHP) is down 4.6 per cent, Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) is down 6.5 per cent and Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) is down 4.4 per cent

Oil prices also fell with Santos (ASX:STO) and Oil Search (ASX:OSH) down 2.8 and 2.3 per cent while Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) is down 1.5 per cent. Payment software Xero (ASX:XRO) is down 4.2 per cent as the company announced a secretary change. Wise Tech Global (ASX:WTC) is also down 2.6 per cent. Major banks are all lower with NAB (ASX:NAB) leading the slope, down 1 per cent.

Electricity operator AusNet (ASX:AST) has been the major highlight this morning, up 17.7 per cent as it announced a $9.6 billion takeover bid from the Canadian infrastructure giant Brookfield.

Company news

A consortium led by toll road giant Transurban (ASX:TCL) will take full control of WestConnex after signing a deal with the NSW government for a 49 per cent stake in the road with a bid of $11.1 billion.

Sydney Airport (ASX:SYD) faced another challenging month in August after continued border restrictions and stay-at-home-orders in NSW.

IPO

Pearl Gull Iron (ASX:PLG) has listed on the ASX with an issue price of $0.20. The shares opened at $0.20 and are now trading at $0.17.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Utilities, up 2.2 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Materials, down 4.3 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is AusNet Services (ASX:AST), trading 17.7 per cent higher at $2.33. It is followed by shares in Endeavour (ASX:EDV) and Nufarm (ASX:NUF).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Champion Iron (ASX:CIA), trading 12.1 per cent lower at $4.49. It is followed by shares in Lynas Rare Earths (ASX:LYC) and Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1750.34 an ounce.
Iron ore is 4.9 per cent lower at US$101.95 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 6.9 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 72.43 US cents.

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