Mundane Monday: Aus shares close 0.1% lower

Market Reports

by Michael Luu

The Australian share market started the trading week in the red, with just over half of the sectors closing with a loss.Telcos led the drag today while Healthcare took the cake as the best performing sector.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 9 points lower, or 0.1 per cent lower, to finish at 6,311.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a fallof 21 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 3 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing lift of 7 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 17 point fall tomorrow.

Value of trades

$4.5 billion on volume of 625 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 CSL (ASX:CSL).

Economic news

Retail trade didn’t grow at all in July in seasonally adjusted terms, missing the 0.3 per cent rise the market and economists expected.

Business profits rose 2 per cent in the June quarter, better than the 1.3 per cent rise expected. Year-on-year company profits grew 11.4 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms according to the ABS.

Company news

Mirvac Group (ASX:MGR) has snapped up a future office development asset in Melbourne’s CBD for $122 million. Mirvac says 383 La Trobe Street provides a secure income in a prized part of Melbourne’s CBD. The office part of the building is fully leased to the Australian Federal Police. Mirvac does, however, plan to redevelop the site into a new tower spanning 40,000 square metres. Shares in Mirvac Group (ASX:MGR) closed 0.8 per cent higher at $2.45.

Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST) has increased gold guidance and raised $175 million. It also increased its FY19 guidance to be in the range of 850,000 to 900,000 ounces.

Transurban (ASX:TCL) and its consortium of investors, Sydney Transport Partners, have been given the green light to purchase a majority stake in WestConnex to snap up 51 per cent of the 33 kilometre motorway.

The a2 Milk Company (ASX:A2M) advised that the Chinese Government passed a new law providing a framework for e-commerce in China. The new law covers e-commerce operators, contracts, dispute resolution, and promotion, both domestic and cross border. a2 Milk says the law further protects the rights and safety of consumers.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Healthcare, adding 0.8, per cent while the worst performing sector was Telco Services, shedding 2.2 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST), rising 16.7 per cent to close at $8.12. Shares in Speedcast International (ASX:SDA) and Greencross (ASX:GXL) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Western Areas (ASX:WSA), dropping 6.5 per cent to close at $2.46. Shares in Bellamy’s Australia (ASX:BAL) and Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG) followed lower.

Asian markets

Asian markets were all lower. Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.7per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.8 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.4 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,201 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.45 lower at $US69.80 a barrel.
The iron ore price gained 0.7 per cent to US$66.34.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.95 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Some of the most traded cryptocurrencies are trading mixed. Bitcoin has gained 0.2 per cent to US$7,237, Ethereum has fallen 2.2 per cent to US$291 and EOS has fallen 0.8 per cent to US$6.50.