Poor sentiment, but surplus beats expecations: Aus shares close 1.1% lower

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market continued its sharp fall for the second straight day, losing 1.1 per cent today, taking the local bourse (or top 200 stocks, which make up the S&P/ASX 200 index) back to where it was on 20 June 2018. The Australian dollar has stayed at near 2.5-year lows, so that’s not helping the equation. But from the get-go today we had mostly negative Wall Street leads on the back of the Nasdaq falling after Netflix's shares fe.. 

Most of the sectors saw selling today with health leading the drag. It comes despite receiving some slightly better than expected economic news today.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 70 points lower, or 1.1 per cent lower to finish at 6,160.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 41 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 5 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing fall of 21 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 65 point fall tomorrow.

Value of trades

At the close of trade, the top three stocks by value were BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP), CSL (ASX:CSL) and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA).

Economic news

Australia’s balance of trade fell 20 per cent from June to July to $1.55 billion in seasonally adjusted terms. It also beat the weaker forecast of a surplus of $1.4 billion.

Company news

Retail pharmacy business, Sigma Healthcare (ASX:SIG) which owns the Amcal and Guardian chemist businesses reported a slump in its half-year results ending 31 July 2018, with its net profit after tax falling 51 per cent to $13.8 million, while its revenue fell 2 per cent over the period. Meantime, it advised it’s on track to meet its FY19 guidance. Shares in Sigma Healthcare (ASX:SIG) closed 11.6 per cent lower at $0.54.

Telstra (ASX:TLS) has revised its FY19 guidance based on the NBN Corporate Plan advised its income would be $300 million lower than previously forecast and advised its income should now be in the range of $26.2 billion to $28.1 billion. EBITDA has been reduced by $100 million.

Domino's Pizza Enterprises (ASX:DMP) has provided Dragontail Systems (ASX: DTS) with purchase orders for over $1 million for their AI camera system to be based in its stores.

Ramsay Health Care's (ASX:RHC) French subsidiary Ramsay Générale de Santé has lodged an offer for 100 per cent of the shares in Swedish healthcare group, Capio AB, offering 48.5 Swedish Krona cash per share.

Fashion company the PAS Group (ASX:PGR) has announced that Dunlop has become the official ball partner of Tennis Australia including the Australian Open.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Telco Services, adding 2.6 per cent while the worst performing sector was Health Care, shedding 3.9 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Telstra Corporation (ASX:TLS), rising 3.3 per cent to close at $3.12. Shares in Sandfire Resources (ASX:SFR) and South32 (ASX:S32) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Sigma Healthcare (ASX:SIG), dropping 11.6 per cent to close at $0.54. Shares in Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) and Lynas Corporation (ASX:LYC) followed lower.

Asian markets

Lower. Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.4 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 1.5 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.6 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,197 an ounce.
The iron ore price gained 0.3 per cent to $US66.79.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 2.6 per cent
Light crude is $1.23 down at $US68.64 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.73 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Some of the most traded cryptocurrencies are trading lower. Bitcoin has fallen 12.5 per cent to US$6,448, Ethereum has fallen 20.5 per cent to US$226 and EOS has fallen 22.4 per cent to US$5.04, in the last 24 hours.