Chinese tariff rattles Asian markets: Aus shares close flat

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

Asian markets have entered bear territory with the Chinese stock market falling about 2 per cent, on the back of Donald Trump firing backing at Beijing, threating $200 billion of tariffs on Chinese goods.

Despite that, the Australian share market only saw minor losses today, slightly dipping into red terrority in late trade.

Miners copped the biggest selling today, with the Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) falling over 4 per cent after being outbid in the takeover of Atlas Iron (ASX:AGO), while a suite of other major miners lost territory on the back of tariff fears and iron ore futures price falling 5.1 per cent. (At the open it was around US$68.49).

We saw Fortescue (ASX:FMG), Rio (ASX:RIO) and BHP (ASX:BHP) lose 2 per cent.

And on the other spectrum, health care gained the most out of the sectors, along with telcos. 

At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 2 points lower, or 0.03 per cent lower, to finish at 6,102 points.

The futures market

The Dow Jones Futures are suggesting a fall of 293 points.
The S&P/ASX 200 Futures are suggesting a fall of 5 point

Value of trade

$6.0 billion on volume of 695 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) and CSL (ASX:CSL).

Company news

Dexus (ASX:DXS) announced higher rents have bolstered its book value, after it saw a 3 per cent rise in its book value over the six months to 30 June 2018. It also announced a 5.1 per cent higher distribution for this finanical year, taking its total distribution to 47.8 cents. It comes after it today declared a 24.1 cent distribution for the six months ending 30 June 2018. Shares in Dexus (ASX:DXS) closed 0.92 per cent lower at $9.68.

Atlas Iron (ASX:AGO) is now majority owned by the Rinehart family after Gina’s daughter, Bianca Hope Rinehart snapped up about 20 per cent of Atlas Iron. Atlas also advised Gina’s Hancock Prospecting’s takeover offer is expected to be superior to Mineral Resources offer, while also serving MinRes with three business days to make a counter proposal. Yesterday Gina Rinehart’s company, Hancock Prospecting rose its stake in AGO to 20 per cent [19.96 per cent] and made a takeover offer of about $390 million (offering to buy all of its shares for 4.2 cents per share). Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) also owns 20 per cent [19.9 per cent], while Macquarie Group (ASX:MGQ) holds over 6 per cent, and Credit Suisse also has a holding too.

IAG (ASX:IAG) inked a sale agreement to sell some of its Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam operations for $525 million which will result in an after tax-profit of $200 million in the company’s FY19 results.

And Mr Robert Priestley resigned from the board of ASX (ASX:ASX)

IPOs

Bounty Mining (ASX:B2Y) started trading today. The coal mining and resource development company floated with an issue price of $0.35, opened at $0.38 and it closed at $0.40

Best and worst performers of the day

The best-performing sector was healthcare, which added 1.97 per cent. The worst-performing sector was materials, which shed 1.25 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Vocus Group Ltd (ASX:VOC), which rose 6.48 per cent to $2.63. Shares in Nanosonics Limited (ASX:NAN) and CSL Limited (ASX:CSL) followed higher.

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Mineral Resources. (ASX:MIN), which fell 4.44 per cent to $16.15. Shares in OZ Minerals (ASX:OZL) and BlueScope Steel Ltd (ASX:BSL) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan's Nikkei has lost 1.74 per cent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng has lost 2.62 per cent and China's Shanghai Composite has lost 3.26 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at USD $1281.74 an ounce.
Light crude is trading $0.82 higher at USD $65.67 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 73.76 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin is trading 4 per cent higher at US$6,734, Ethereum is trading 4.40 per cent higher at US$519 and EOS is trading 2.79 per cent higher at US$10.56.