Slipping on trade war fears: Aus shares close 0.2% lower

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market closed lower for the third day in a row, closing 0.2 per cent down today on trade war concerns. Despite that, our main index, the top 200, (ASX200) is still hanging onto 10-year highs.

Today the biggest weight came from the mining sector. Despite the iron ore price gaining 0.2 per cent to US$65.49 and its futures are pointing to a slight fall of 0.3 per cent, Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) fell 1.8 per cent, leading the major heavyweight miners lower, while the Australian dollar continues to trade at one-year lows.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 13 points or 0.2 per cent lower to finish at 6,198.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 54 points up.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 17 point fall.

Value of trades

$5.5 billion on volume of 695 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) and Westpac (ASX:WBC).

Company news

Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (ASX:API) gained a massive 8.3 per cent today, just a day after announcing a deal to enter the skin treatments, laser hair removal, and cosmetic injectable market, becoming a leading Australian health and beauty business. Yesterday API advised it’s buying skin, laser and acne business, Clearskincare Clinics for $127.4 million, along with its 44 clinics. Its shares closed at $1.57.

APN Outdoor (ASX:APO) has inked the deal to be taken over for $1.1 billion by French company, JCDecaux and it gained 0.3 per cent today. The board declared it will pay as special dividend of $0.30 immediately before implementation. The takeover needs to pass through the regular approvals and it will step out the timetable in July 2018.

Trade Me (ASX:TME) CEO Jon Macdonald has announced he intends to stand down from the company after being at the helm for more than a decade, saying he will leave in about six months time.

BHP Billiton Brasil (ASX:BHP), Samarco and Vale, the Fed Government of Brasil and a group of others have established a framework to settle on the US$5.3billion dam lawsuit. 

Telco, Amaysim (ASX:AYS) announced its CEO and MD Julian Ogrin will leave the company on 1 July 2018, to take an exec role at the newly merged Foxtel and Fox Sports. The co-founder Peter O’Connell, will assume the role of CEO that same day. Meantime, it also expects full year revenue for FY18 to be between $573 to $583 million.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was staples adding 0.8 per cent. The worst performing sector was materials, shedding 0.9 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Australian Pharmaceutical Industries Limited (ASX:API), rising 8.3 per cent to close at $1.57. Shares in Speedcast International Limited (ASX:SDA) and Mayne Pharma Group Limited (ASX:MYX) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Wisetech Global Limited (ASX:WTC), dropping 4.8 per cent to close at $16.33. Shares in Beach Energy Limited (ASX:BPT) and Domino's Pizza Enterprises Limited (ASX:DMP) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.4 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.7 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,264 an ounce.
Light crude is $US68.19 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 74.15 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin trades at US$6,286, Ethereum is at US$459 and EOS at US$8.19