Mellow Monday: Aus shares close 0.4% lower

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

It was a soft start to the trading week, and we lost almost half of Friday’s gains, finishing 0.4 per cent lower today. From the outset, we had negative leads to follow as Wall Street closed in the red on the back of the Nasdaq shedding 1.5 per cent, after Intel lost over 8 per cent and Twitter stumbled 20 per cent on their monthly users falling.

As for our shiners today, AMP (ASX:AMP) gained over 4 per cent higher, clawing back from Friday’s losses. With the other top three top performing stocks made gains of 2 to about 3.7 per cent.

Telcos gained today amid Telstra’s (ASX:TLS) reshuffle, while the mining heavy weights lost momentum, despite the iron ore price rising almost 2 per cent (1.8 per cent) to US$67.49.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 22 points lower, or 0.35 per cent lower to finish at 6,278.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 38 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 7 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing fall of 34 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 36 point fall.

Value of trades

$3.7 billion on volume of 562 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).

Company news

Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) advised it’s on track to become a global lithium producer with its Pilgangoora plant commissioning underway, first concentrates have been produced and first DSO was shipped to China. At the same time, in the June quarter it also advised a 36 per cent rise in exploration tonnage in the June quarter. Shares in Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) closed 2.7 per cent lower at $0.91.

Telstra (ASX:TLS) has unveiled its new organisational structure and leadership team as it looks to deliver its Telstra 2022 strategy. Michael Ebeid will run the Enterprise team, Nikos Katinakis will lead Networks and IT and Brendon Riley to become CEO of Telstra InfraCo.

Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR) has advised its Balama production in Mozambique saw a 12 per cent dip in ore mined from the March to June quarter. It dropped its 2018 graphite production target from 160,000 tonnes to 135,000 to 145,000 tonnes at the site. It also bumped up its operating costs guidance and pushed out the date for the Balama project to be cash flow positive, from mid 2018 to late 2018.

Caltex (ASX:CTX) Refiner Margin (CRM) sales rose to 555 ML, above the prior month’s sales and for the same time last year.

Healthscope (ASX:HSO) inked a deal to sell its Asian pathology operations in Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam for $279 million to private equity firm TPG Capital Asia.

Real estate investment trust company, GPT Group (ASX:GPT) announced its office, retail and logistics portfolios increased by $457 million or by 4 per cent from December 2017 to 30 June 2018. It comes after the properties were independently valued, with revaluations equating to 25 cents per security.

IPOs

The mineral exploration company, Constellation Resources Limited (ASX:CR1) started trading today, coming onto the market with a profit of about 55 per cent. It comes as it floated with an issue price of $0.20, opened at $0.33 and closed at $0.305.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Telco Services adding 1.7 per cent while the worst performing sector was Health Care, shedding 0.9 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was AMP (ASX:AMP), rising 4.2 per cent to close at $3.44. Shares in Gwa Group Limited (ASX GWA) and Nine Entertainment Holdings Limited (ASX:NEC) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Sandfire Resources Nl (ASX:SFR), dropping 8.95 per cent to close at $7.73. Shares in Independence Group Nl (ASX:IGO) and Orocobre (ASX:ORE) followed lower.

Asian markets

Lower: Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.8 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has seen dip of 0.9 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.6 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,220 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.92 lower at $US68.69 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 73.95 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Some of the most traded cryptocurrencies are trading lower: Bitcoin has fallen 0.5 per cent to US$8,165 Ethereum has shed 0.5 per cent to US$464 and EOS has shed about 1 per cent to US$8.20.