Gains from Materials and Utilities not enough to lift the ASX

Market Reports

by Peter Milios

Utilities and Materials gained 0.73 per cent and 0.56 per cent respectively. However, it wasn't enough to lift the ASX.

Overall, at the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 was 0.19 per cent lower at 6,955.20.

In commodity news, Iron ore futures prices have dropped by almost 8 per cent this week, resulting in the worst weekly decline since October. The fall in prices was caused by China's warning to traders against hoarding and price gouging, as well as uncertainty about China's plan to cut crude steel output by approximately 2.5 per cent. However, there was a slight recovery in prices on Friday afternoon, with Singapore iron ore futures up 1 per cent to $US119.40 per tonne, after hitting a two-month low on Thursday.


The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a rise of 30 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a rise of 4.25 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a rise of 8.25 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 12 points when the market next opens.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Utilities, up 0.73 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Financials, down 1.15 per cent.

The best-performing large cap was Mercury NZ (ASX:MCY), closing 4.34 per cent higher at $5.77. It was followed by shares in Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) and Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN).

The worst-performing large cap was Meridian Energy (ASX:MEZ), closing 2.52 per cent lower at $4.65. It was followed by shares in Bendigo and Adelaide Bank (ASX:BEN) and Yancoal Australia (ASX:YAL).

Asian markets

Japan's Nikkei has lost 0.36 per cent.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng has lost 0.33 per cent.
China's Shanghai Composite has gained 1.01 per cent.

Company news

Sihayo Gold (ASX:SIH) announced significant gold intercepts at their project in Indonesia. Sihayo’s Executive Chairman, Colin Moorhead, commented, “With these latest intercepts, we believe there is strong potential to grow the resource and further strengthen the case for an independent underground operation at Sihayo.” Shares closed 100 per cent higher at 0.2 cents.

Lanthanein Resources (ASX:LNR) announced the completion of two surveys at the Lyons Rare Earths Project in WA. Brian Thomas, Lanthanein Technical Director commented, “The heritage avoidance surveys allowing the company to prepare for the arrival of the drill rigs to make the larger breakthrough discovery that could potentially transform the company.” Shares closed 7.14 per cent higher at 1.5 cents.

Ausgold (ASX:AUC) has announced further high-grade gold intercepted at the Katanning Gold Project in WA. Commenting on the drilling results, Ausgold Managing Director, Matthew Greentree, said: “The increasing scale of gold mineralisation further supports the definitive feasibility study underway and provides the basis for a larger production profile.” Shares closed 6.3 per cent higher at 5.1 cents.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,994.00 an ounce.
Iron ore is 0.9 per cent lower at US$120.30 a tonne.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a 0.2 per cent fall.
Light crude is trading $0.17 lower at US$69.79 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 66.87 US cents.

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