US threatens more tariffs: Aus shares close 0.7% lower

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian sharemarket has recorded its worst performance in a month, this comes under threats from the US to impose more tariffs on Chinese goods – that could be to $200 million. Most of the sectors were down today although consumer discretionary managed a rise- utilities came out the worst. Flight Centre Travel (ASX:FLT) managed to lift against the market. Energy shares fell after statements from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims caused concern for the sector with greater reforms potentially on the way. Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) and South32 (ASX:S32) saw losses
While iron ore price fell 0.1 per cent to $63.91 a tonne and its futures are pointing to a fall of 0.6 per cent

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 43 points lower, or 0.7 per cent lower to finish at 6216.

On the futures market the Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 207 points up.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 38 point fall.

The value of trades was $5.7 billion on volume of 671 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 Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO)

Local economic news

Australian consumer confidence jumped 3.9 percent in July It is the highest reading in over four years. Possibly spurred on by income tax cuts delivered by the Federal government.

Company news 

Greenland Minerals (ASX:GGG) shareholder Shenghe Resources selected two leading laboratories in China to visit Perth for test work on Kevanefjeld ore. Bulk sample material exported from Greenland has been delivered to Perth.
Chinese technology will help develop the flotation circuit and so far results have shown improvements in mineral concentrate grade of 60 per cent. Greenland Minerals (ASX:GGG) owns 100 per cent of the large-scale Kvanefjeld Project in Greenland. It is projected to be one of the largest producers globally of key magnet metals along with by-production of uranium and zinc. Shares in Greenland Minerals (ASX:GGG) closed flat at $0.08

Scentre Group (ASX:SCG) has acquired a 50 per cent interest in Sydney’s Westfield Eastgardens $720 million. That represents a capitalisation rate of 4.25 per cent. Westfield Eastgardens is one of the top 30 shopping centres in Australia with total retail sales of more than $600 million. Shares in Scentre Group (ASX:SCG) closed 0.67 per cent lower at $4.42

More headlines

Investment company, Mirrabooka Investments (ASX:MIR) net profit was up 37 per cent to $10.4 million for the year. They contribute the rise in full year profit due to increased income from investments and a significantly higher contribution from the trading portfolio.

Life sciences company, Cellmid (ASX:CDY) says its Evolis anti-aging hair products will be sold in Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdales stores from September this year. Cellmid says it expects monthly sales to increase by six-fold selling through the first six stores. Meantime, the Evolis branded products will be launched in Japan this month.

Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG) has received the key approvals from the government allowing it to adopt a new mining schedule. The gold miner will see improvements to the Ravenswood Expansion Project (REP) with the life of the mine has been extended by three years to 2032.

Best and worst performers 

The best performing sector was consumer discretionary adding 0.3 per cent to 2477 while the worst performing sector was utilities shedding 3.8 per cent to 7992. 

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Flight Centre Travel Group (ASX:FLT), rising 3.8 per cent to close at $64.61. Shares in The A2 Milk Company (ASX:A2M) and Fairfax Media (ASX:FXJ) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was AGL Engery (ASX:AGL), dropping 6.95 per cent to close at $21.17. Shares in Lynas Corp (ASX:LYC) and Altium (ASX:ALU) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 1.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 1.8 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 2.6 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1252 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.36 up at $US74.21barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 74.10 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin has fallen 5.31 per cent to US$6346, Ethereum fallen about 7.14 per cent to US$431 and EOS is down 9.9 per cent to US$6.85.