Turbulent day on the market: Aus shares close flat

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian sharemarket has closed flat today despite being very up and down throughout the day. The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 1.7 points lower - its fourth loss in as many sessions. BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) and Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) were among the market leaders today with the energy sector supported by an overnight rise in oil prices. Information technology stocks recovered- Wisetech Global (ASX:WTC) rose 2.6 per cent and Appen (ASX:APX) also closed up. While iron ore futures are flat. 

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 2 points lower, or 0.03 per cent lower to finish at 6196.
On the futures market the Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 75 points. And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 8 point fall.

Value of trades

The value of trades was $6.3 billion on volume of 787million 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 NAB (ASX:NAB).

Local economic news

The Australian Bureau of Statistics released the March quarter figures for ABS Engineering Construction Activity. The trend estimate for the value of total engineering construction work done rose 3.7 per cent in the March 2018 quarter. The seasonally adjusted estimate for the value of total engineering construction work done rose 2.8% in the March quarter to almost $24 billion.The value of work commenced in the March quarter was over $29 billion in original terms, an increase of 66.2 per cent from the December quarter.

Company news 

Scott Weenink, General Counsel & Company Secretary, has resigned and will leave Auckland Airport (ASX:AIA) at the end of his notice period. Until recently Scott was a director of North Queensland Airports, will also resign from his position as a director of Tainui Auckland Airport Hotel GP which owns the Novotel Auckland Airport. He joined Auckland Airport in February 2016, and now will join global enterprise messaging provider Modica Group as an Executive Director and Chief Commercial Officer. Shares in Auckland Airport (ASX:AIA) closed 0.6 per cent higher at $6.40

Education juggernaut Navitas (ASX:NVT) has appointed David Buckingham as Managing Director with effect from 1 July 2018. Rod Jones will retire from the role of Managing Director and remains on the Board as a Non-Executive Director. Shares in Navitas (ASX:NVT) closed 0.2 per cent lower at $4.56

And Corporate watchdog ASIC has commenced proceedings in the Federal Court today against AMP Financial Planning in relation to their alleged failure to ensure its authorised financial planners comply with their clients best interests under the Corporations Act. ASIC alleges that certain AMPFP financial planners engaged in ‘rewriting conduct’. By advising clients to submit new applications, the financial planners stood to receive higher commissions. Shares in AMP (ASX:AMP) closed 1.4 per cent lower at $3.57 .

More headlines 

OZ Minerals (ASX:OZL) has edged one step closer to its acquisition of Avanco with acceptances for its offer now exceeding 90 per cent. The mining company says it now intends to compulsorily acquire all of the remaining shares.

Jeweller Michael Hill (ASX:MHJ) has entered into an Amendment and Restatement Deed (Amendment Deed) with ANZ to secure an extension of its core debt facilities. Last week the company announced it would close all Emma & Roe stores and its online presence.

Diagnostic imaging provider Capitol Health (ASX:CAJ) has acquired 6 clinics in Perth and 3 in Melbourne. The healthcare company paid $17 million upfront on a cash and debt free basis with up to $3.3 million payable under earn-out to vendors over the first year of ownership.

Best and worst performers 

The best performing sector was Energy adding 1.2 per cent while the worst performing sector was Telcos shedding 1.5 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (ASX:API), rising 4.5 per cent to close at $1.64. Shares in Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) and Link Adminstration (ASX:LNK) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was oOh!Media (ASX:OML), dropping 5.9 per cent to close at $4.82. Shares in Metcash (ASX:MTS) and Brambles (ASX:BXB) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.4 per cent,
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 1.2 per cent,
Shanghai Composite has lost 1.3 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,256 an ounce.
Light crude is $2.60 up at $US70.68 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 73.79 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin has fallen 2.7 per cent to US$6095,
Ethereum fallen about 5 per cent to US$435,
EOS has fallen about 7 per cent to US$7.60.