China data disappoints, Profit taking tolls: Aus shares close 0.43% lower

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Aussie share market started the week with a loss of over 0.4 per cent as traders await Reserve Bank meeting minutes tomorrow, Thursday’s employment data, with the unemployment rate expected to hold at 5.4 per cent and also sit on the edge of their seats ahead of US earnings season kicking off. Meantime, investors also digested weaker than expected Chinese economic growth data.

Over half of our sectors fell underwater, with health leading the decline on the back of profit taking after the Health Care sector has risen 5.3 per cent over the past month. We saw the likes of CSL (ASX:CSL) today lose 2.9 per cent, at the hands of profit taking. Analysts are estimating that average annualised growth will increase to 24.53 per cent for 2018 and 2019. As for the stock itself, it’s gained 54 per cent over the past year. 

Today the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 27 points or 0.43 per cent lower to finish at 6,242.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a gain of 45 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 31 point fall.

Value of trades

$4 billion on volume of 513 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), CSL(ASX:CSL) and BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP).

Economic news

Malaysian visitors to Australia have dropped 12 per cent from last year, while our overall for year, in terms of short-term visitors has grown 3.7 per cent, compared to last year (in trend terms).

In company news now

G8 Education (ASX:GEM) snapped its two day losing streak and had a strong rally today rising over 5 per cent, while two other top 200 performers followed rising 4 per cent. Shares in G8 Education (ASX:GEM) closed 5.5 per cent higher at $2.51.

Medical cannabis company, AusCann (ASX:AC8) launched a share purchase plan to raise $8 million and is planning to use the proceeds for clinical studies to get product registration in Australia, plus will also put the proceeds towards expanding its Australian manufacturing facility, while also establishing a facility in Chile. AusCann (ASX:AC8) shares closed 3.3 per cent lower at $1.04. 

Mirvac (ASX:MGR) has secured Suncorp as a tenant for its $836 million office development in Brisbane’s CBD. The project will be funded by a 50/50 JV partner, M&G Real Estate, with plans for it to be built in FY22. Suncorp will lease 66 per cent of the 31-level tower for 10 years. Mirvac also exercised a option for Wee Hur to buy the site for $79 million, which is set to occur in the first quarter of FY19.

The toll road operator Transurban (ASX:TCL) announced the completion of the Monash freeway upgrade two months ahead of schedule. The new lanes were opened on the freeway in Victoria in May.

Downer (ASX:DOW) has won a five-year Chevron contract, to provide maintenance and support services to two Western Australian facilities. The contract also includes support services provided by Spotless, at Gordon and Wheatstone.

Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) announced full-year coal sales rose 7 per cent on the prior year (including purchased coal). Its coal production for the year was on par with the previous year, while in the June quarter it completed two acquisitions, one in Tarrawonga in NSW and the other in QLD

In small caps, Emerge Gaming (ASX:EM1) shares saw a stellar rally earlier in the session rising over 20 per cent after it announced its Arcade X platform will have access to 80 per cent of South Africa’s population, connecting its platform to over 50 million paying major mobile network subscribers. 

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Telco Services adding 1.3 per cent while the worst performing sector was HealthCare, shedding 1.9 per cent. 

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was G8 Education Limited (ASX:GEM), rising 5.5 per cent to close at $2.51. Shares in Inghams Group Limited (ASX:ING) and Sigma Healthcare Limited (ASX:SIG) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Orocobre Limited (ASX:ORE), dropping 4.8 per cent to close at $5.36. Shares in Evolution Mining Limited (ASX:EVN) and Pilbara Minerals Limited (ASX:PLS) followed lower.

Asian markets

Mostly lower: Japan’s Nikkei is not trading due to Marine Day, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.4 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.8 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,246 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.60 up at $US69.95 barrel.
Iron Ore price stable at US$64.04 while it futures price are eyeing a rise of 0.32 cent
One Australian dollar is buying 74.38 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Some of the most traded cryptocurrencies are trading higher. Bitcoin has gained 1.4 per cent to US$6,380, Ethereum has gained about 2.7 per cent to US$450 and EOS has gained about 5 per cent to US$7.34.