Healthcare sector stays in the green: ASX closes 0.6% lower

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

It's been a quiet day on the markets with the ASX closing lower. NSW, the ACT and South Australia are celebrating Labour Day and Queensland is celebrating the Queen's Birthday - thousands of traders took time off meaning volumes are low today. New Zealand software company Xero (ASX:XRO) did well today, Nufarm (ASX:NUF) shares were down. In currencies - the Canadian dollar and Mexican peso are soaring against the American dollar on news the countries signed a new free trade deal with the United States. The Canadian dollar is the strongest it has been since May. Meanwhile Mexico's currency is the strongest it has been since early August. As for the sectors, healthcare is still in the green meanwhile financials excluding REIT is the worst performing sector. At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 35 points lower, or 0.6 per cent lower to finish at 6172.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 171 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 16 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing lift of 51 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 31 point fall tomorrow.

Economic news

CoreLogic has released the Home Value index 0.5 per cent drop in house prices in September marking 12 months of consistently falling prices. Sydney house prices are down 6.1 per cent year on year and Melbourne down 3.4 per cent.

On Tuesday, the Reserve Bank Board meets but no change in rates is expected for the 26th straight month. On Wednesday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) releases data on dwelling approvals. On Thursday the ABS releases the August international trade data. And finally on Friday we can expect the August data on retail trade or sales and the AiGroup Performance of Construction index.

Company news

Telecommunications infrastructure company Superloop (ASX:SLC) has announced that Executive Director, Mr Jason Ashton, has retired from the Superloop Board with effect from 30 September 2018. Mr Ashton was appointed to the Superloop Board in December 2016 following the implementation of the Scheme of Arrangement which saw the company he co-founded in 2002, BigAir Group Limited, become part of the Superloop Group. Shares in Superloop (ASX:SLC) are 2.3 per cent higher at $2.27

Regis Resources (ASX:RRL) has confirmed it has withdrawn its bid to acquire 100 per cent of Capricorn Metals (ASX:CMM). The proposal by Regis was at a price of 11.4 cents per Capricorn share, and was subject to a number of conditions including a Capricorn board recommendation along with the support of key Capricorn shareholders.

Pharmaceutical company, AusCann (ASX:AC8) has signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding with Canadian listed medical cannabis company Khiron Life Sciences (TSXV:KHRN). The MoU contemplates a collaboration through which AusCann's Chilean joint venture, DayaCann and Khiron can offer new alternatives of medical cannabis to patients in Chile, in addition to those currently provided. Dayacann is the only company in Chile to hold a medical cannabis production license. AusCann and Fundacion Daya formed Dayacann in 2016.

And biotech company, Imugene (ASX:IMU) has today announced the appointment of a leading cancer researcher to its Scientific Advisory Board. Professor Pravin Kaumaya of Ohio State University's Comprehensive Cancer Centre is a leader in cancer vaccine research and will advance Imugene's cancer immune-therapy product pipeline.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was healthcare adding 0.7 per cent while the worst performing sector was Financials excluding REIT, shedding 1.3 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Xero (ASX:XRO), rising 3.3 per cent to close at $50.61. Shares in Eclipx (ASX:ECX) and Lynas corp (ASX:LYC) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Nufarm (ASX:NUF), dropping 8.2 per cent to close at $6.05. Shares in Australian Pharmaceuticals (ASX:API) and Afterpay Touch Group (ASX:APT) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.5 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and the Shanghai Composite are closed.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,189 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 0.8 per cent to US$69.24.
Light crude is US$1.13 up at US$73.25 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 72.12 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Some of the most traded cryptocurrencies are trading mixed: Bitcoin has gained 0.6 per cent to US$6619, Ethereum has fallen 0.5 per cent to US$230 and XRP has fallen about 0.2 per cent to US$0.58, in the last 24 hours.

Rachael Jones

Finance News Network
Rachael comes to FNN after working for Fairfax Media covering international breaking news, including the global economy and politics. She joined FNN in February 2018. She has reported on Australia’s finance news for various organisations since 2000 and has also interviewed a number of key business players, including Bill Gates. Rachael has also worked across a number of countries, including the UK and the US.