Tech down and tariff talk causes uncertainty: ASX closes lower

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian stock market closed lower this week The US tech sector took a tumble this week with calls for tighter regulations. Aussie Appen (ASX:APN) fell on the back of this. BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) weighed down the market this week. The Aussie dollar dropped and then rose back up slightly awaiting the news from the US on the extra tariffs on Chinese exports. As for the sectors telcos continue to rise whilst healthcare dragged. The iron ore price gained 2.4 per cent to $68.39 and its futures are pointing to a rise of 0.6 per cent. At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 17 points lower, or 0.3 per cent lower to finish at 6144. Over the week, the index it closed 177 points down or 2.8 per cent. 

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 29 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a flat
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a fall of 5 point.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 70 point fall.

Economic news

The pace of growth across the construction industry was relatively unchanged in August, despite a continued decline in apartment building activity.

Performance of Construction Index fell by 0.2 points to 51.8 – a 19th consecutive month of expansion.

Total Dwelling Finance has increased by 0.4 per cent according to ABS figures.

Company news

Alumina (ASX:AWC) have released a statement about their joint venture Alcoa's industrial action. Alumina is a 40 per cent share holder in Alcoa. Alcoa of Western Australian operations have voted against the Company’s proposed Enterprise Bargaining Agreement presented in August. The strike action over pay is now in its 31st day.
An Alcoa Australia spokeswoman said the company invited the workers to return to work while both parties sought a resolution. Alcoa welcomes an alternative proposal from the Australian Worker's Union Enterprise Bargaining Agreement. Shares in Alumina (ASX:AWC) closed 1.1 per cent lower to $2.73.

Domino's Pizza Enterprises (ASX:DMP) is addressing issues regarding almost $2000 of underpayment of wages for 20 team members across 19 stores. Domino's say they will ensure any wages underpayments are rectified as quickly as possible.

Building product manufacturer James Hardie Industries (ASX:JHX) CEO is stepping down. Louis Gries joined James Hardie in 1991, becoming CEO in February 2005. Dr Jack Truong will be his successor.

Genex Power (ASX:GNX) has today entered into a Sale and Purchase Agreement for the acquisition of the Jemalong Solar Project development in NSW. This acquisition is complementary to Genex’s existing solar and hydro power projects in North Queensland.

Best and worst performers 

The best performing sector was Telcos adding 0.5 per cent while the worst performing sector was Healthcare, shedding 1.7 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY), rising 9.9 cent to close at $2.65. Shares in Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) and Sigma Healthcare (ASX:SIG) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Afterpay Touch Group (ASX:APT ),dropping 6.3 per cent to close at $15. Shares in NEXTDC (ASX:NXT) and Southern Cross Media Group (ASX:SXL) followed lower.

Asian markets

Mixed:Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.8 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.2 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.3 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1202 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.83 lower at $US67.89 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.54 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Some of the most traded cryptocurrencies are trading higher: Bitcoin has gained 1.5 per cent to US$6544, Ethereum has gained 0.3 per cent to US$232 and EOS has gained about 5.1 per cent to US$5.31, in the last 24 hours.