Oil and miners gains, CBA down: Aus shares close 0.24% lower

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Aussie share market started the trading week lower with the ASX200 back peddling to where it was last Thursday. Financials led over half of the sectors lower, but we still managed to hold onto those new decade highs.

CBA (ASX:CBA) led the decline out of the big banks after announcing plans to demerge its wealth arm, which was not expected by analysts (news later in bulletin).

On the other spectrum of financials, debt purchasing company, Credit Corp (ASX:CCP) rallied up almost 7 per cent, recovering from an earlier fall in the session.

Energy stocks gained the most today after the oil price saw a massive jump, which left oil majors boding well.

The big miners all finished in the black after the iron ore price rose 0.7 per cent to US$65.34, while its futures point to a rise of 2.2 per cent.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 15 points lower, or 0.24 per cent lower to finish at 6,210.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 168 points up.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 16 point fall.

Value of trades

$4.9 billion on volume of 626 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), ANZ (ASX:ANZ) and BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP).

Company news

Medical Developments International (ASX:MVP) announced its pain-relief drug, Penthrox has been given the green light, to be sold in Switzerland and Portugal and expects sales in FY19. As for its shares, today it lost 1.2 per cent, closing at $5.83 with it trading where it was on 10 February. 

Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (ASX:API) inked a deal to buy skin, laser and acne business, Clearskincare Clinics for $127.4 million, along with its 44 clinics. The deal will see API offer skin treatments, laser hair removal, and cosmetic injectables, becoming a leading Australian health and beauty business. 

CBA (ASX:CBA) led the large financial cap decliners, weighing down the market after it fell by about $1.70 or 2.3 per cent after announcing plans to demerge its wealth management and mortgage broking businesses, which generates over $500 million in net profit after tax, which accounts for 6 per cent of the group. If approved the demerger will be occur in 2019.

ANZ (ASX:ANZ) is selling its retail, commercial and small-medium sized enterprise (SME) banking businesses in Papua New Guinea, to focus on institutional and large corporate banking in PNG. The sale includes 15 ANZ branches, with $150 million in lending and $450 million in deposits. The sale to Kina Bank does does not affect ANZ’s material position.

Metcash (ASX:MTS) reported a big swing into the red with a statutory loss $150 million for the full the 2018 year, compared to its prior postive $172 million profit for the same time last period year.

Listings on ASX

Serko Limited (ASX:SKO) started trading today on the ASX, and is already listed on the NZ stock exchange. The integrated, cloud-based corporate travel booking and expense management solution company opened at $2.87 and closed at $2.83

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was energy adding 1.6 per cent while the worst performing sector was financials, shedding 1 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (ASX: API), rising 7 per cent to close at $1.45. Shares in Credit Corp Group (ASX: CCP) and Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Treasury Wine Estates (ASX:TWE), dropping 3.4 per cent to close at $17.80. Shares in Vocus Group (ASX:VOC) and Bellamy's Australia (ASX:BAL) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.7 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 1.1 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.7 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,265 an ounce.
Light crude is $3.04 up at $US68.58 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 74.22 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin trades at US$6,160, Ethereum is at US$541 and EOS has gained 7 per cent US$7.92