The Australian share market erased two days of gains, taking the ASX200 back to where it was last Wednesday. It comes as the Australian drought somewhat affected the market with Nufarm falling 11 per cent, while we had negative leads from the outset with Trump suggesting he wanted to put tariffs on every Chinese good going into the US.
The sectors saw sea of red, with most sectors losing around one per cent and health care and property led the decline. While energy finished with a profit, with the likes of Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) seeing a modest lift.
Afterpay (ASX:APT) continued to shine, and Lynas Corp (ASX:LYC) joined the rally, with the pair gaining about 5 and 6 per cent respectively.
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 58 points lower, or 0.93 per cent lower to finish at 6,228.
Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 8 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 54 point fall.
Value of trades
$4.1 billion on volume of 568 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 NAB (ASX:NAB).
Hometown lodged its bidder statement for the over 50s residential community company Gateway Lifestyle (ASX:GTY) offering to takeover the company for $2.3035 per share (which includes $2.25 cash and a 5.35 cent distribution) trumping Brookfield Property Group’s offer. Nevertheless the company advised shareholder not to take any action. Gateway (ASX:GTY) closed 0.4 per cent higher at $2.27.
Mayne Pharma (ASX:MYX) has announced the acquisition of Generic Efudex cream from Spear Pharmaceuticals for $20 million plus $10 million in contingent payments.
Agricultural chemical company, Nufarm (ASX:NUF) stumbled advising it was hit by the driest autumn in over 100 years and drop its FY18 underlying EBIT guidance to between $255 and $270 million. Its Australian and NZ (ANZ) business EBIT contribution to the business is tipped to slump from last year’s $52 million, to just $5 to $10 million. And its working capital to be up to $300 million higher than last year, on the back of the difficult season.
Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) has announced the demerger of Coles is expected to be completed in November 2018 subject to shareholder and other approvals. Meanwhile, James Graham AM will be hired as Chairman elect of Coles, on completion of the demerger and retired from his role as a non-exec director of the conglomerate.
Westpac (ASX:WBC) has slashed its wealth management division, BT Financial Group pricing, with its flagship platform, BT Panorama customers now only being charged 0.15 per cent per annum, across their platform assets, capped when assets reach $1 million, plus it will only charge a flat account fee of $540 per annum.
Best and worst performers of the day
The best performing sector was Energy adding 0.1 per cent while the worst performing sector was Health Care, shedding 1.2 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Lynas Corporation Limited (ASX:LYC), rising 5.9 per cent to close at $2.12. Shares in Afterpay Touch Group Limited (ASX:APT) and Mayne Pharma Group Limited (ASX:MYX) followed higher.
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Nufarm Limited (ASX:NUF), dropping 11.1 per cent to close at $7.48. Shares in IOOF Holdings Limited (ASX:IFL) and Eclipx Group Limited (ASX:ECX) followed lower.
Mixed: Japan’s Nikkei has lost 1.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.1 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.7 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,232 an ounce.
Iron ore price futures is pointing to a rise of 0.95 per cent.
Light crude is $0.1 up at $US68.26 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 74.25 US cents.
Some of the most traded cryptocurrencies are trading higher. Bitcoin has gained 3.3 per cent to US$7,649, Ethereum has gained about 1 per cent to US$468 and EOS has gained about 3.8 per cent to US$8.35.