Asia follows with declines: ASX closes 0.99% lower

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

Today we saw the Australian market end the session lower due to a dip before the close. A weaker housing market sees shares in real estate media and technology company Domain Holdings (ASX:DHG) fall and online real estate advertising company the REA Group (ASX:REA) is down. This also put a strain on media companies due to advertising falls. Asia saw declines of around 1 per cent. Meantime, Santos (ASX:SAN) is up after announcing a processing and transportation agreement. Energy was the best performing sector with Financials weighing on the market. At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 59 points lower, or 0.99 per cent lower to finish at 5837.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 47 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 9 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing fall of 35 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 29 point rise.

Company news

Cimic Group’s (ASX:CIM) global mining services provider, Thiess, has secured a $1.2 billion contract from BHP (ASX:BHP) to provide mining services at the Mt Arthur Coal operation in the Hunter Valley. This is a new five-year contract. They will perform mine design, planning and scheduling services, drill and blast operations, overburden removal and coal mining. And will create up to 300 permanent roles. Thiess has a strong presence in the Hunter Valley, where it has operated since the 1940s. Shares in Cimic Group’s (ASX:CIM) closed 0.9 per cent lower to $46.37.

Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) today showed that Coles Supermarket headline sales for the quarter are $7.7 billion, up 5.8 per cent and total Coles sales are up 5 per cent compared to the prior corresponding quarter. These results come before the shareholder vote on the demerger of Coles next month.

Atlas Iron (ASX:AGO) announced a board overhaul with Sanjiv Manchanda to replace Cliff Lawrenson as CEO. Spiro Pappas, Professor Ian Pilmer and Tad Watroba have been appointed as non-executive directors. The changes come amid a takeover by Gina Rhinehart's Hancock Propecting. Manchanda has previously served as Head of Project Development for that company.

CYBG's (ASX:CYB) takeover of Virgin Money has received the tick of approval from the UK's High Court of Justice in England and Wales. The court has sanctioned the scheme worth around £1.7 billion after the companies reached agreement on the deal in June.

IPO

Security Matters Limited (ASX:SMX) started trading today. It commercialises technology to identify matter for proof of authentication. It issue shares at a price of $0.20, opened at $0.20 and its trading at $0.21.

Best and worst performers 

The best performing sector was Energy adding 0.4 per cent while the worst performing sector was Financials, shedding 1.6 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Speedcast International (ASX:SDA), rising 3.7 per cent to close at $3.89. Shares in Santos (ASX:STO) and Sims Metal Management (ASX:SGM) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Afterpay Touch (ASX:APT), dropping 6.6 per cent to close at $13.77. Shares in Domain Holdings (ASX:DHG) and Rea Group (ASX:REA) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 1.5 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 1 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.8 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1223 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 0.5 per cent to $71.67. Its futures are pointing to a fall of 0.3 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.37 up at US$71.18 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.07 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Some of the most traded cryptocurrencies are trading lower: Bitcoin has fallen 0.5 per cent to US$6305, Ethereum has fallen 2.8 per cent to US$195 and EOS has fallen about 2.7 per cent to US$5.12, in the last 24 hours.