Energy weighs on market as oil price slumps: ASX closes 0.2% lower

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market snapped its three-day losing streak, and recovered from its earlier fall with half of the sectors making gains. Energy continued to weigh on the market, as the oil price slide further. Healthcare was the best performer of the day. Super Retail Group (ASX:SUL) saw a drop. They held their AGM today and announced that their CEO will be retiring. Infant formula company Bellamy's (ASX:BAL) also saw a drop after it announced full-year sales for its baby formula would be at the lower end of its guidance. Engineering company Worley Parsons (ASX:WOR) also fell lower – they recently announced it would be acquiring Jacobs' energy, chemicals and resources for $4.6 billion and have just come away from a short trading halt. Taking all of this into equation - the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 14 points lower, or 0.2 per cent lower to finish at 5,829.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 33 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 7 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing fall of 26 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 76 point fall tomorrow.

Company news

Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Peter Birtles has announced his retirement from Super Retail Group (ASX:SUL) in the second quarter of the 2019 calendar year. Chair Sally Pitkin told Super Retail Group shareholders at the annual general meeting in Brisbane today that succession planning is a priority at all levels of the business. There will be a comprehensive search process canvassing both internal and external candidates.Shares in Super Retail Group (ASX:SUL) are 10.9 per cent lower at $8.33.

Property company Stockland (ASX:SGP) says it is still on track to deliver over 6000 settlements in financial year 19 after providing its 1Q19 market update. They announced 4.3 per cent growth in comparable specialty sales for the quarter when compared to the same time last year.

Private healthcare group Healthscope (ASX:HSO) today announced it's on track to admit the first patients to its Northern Beaches Hospital at the end of this month as planned. MD and CEO Gordon Ballantyne says the partnership between Healthscope, Northern Sydney Local Health District and the NSW Government has the potential to become a new model in healthcare delivery in Australia.

NZME (ASX:NZM) will not appeal the Court of Appeal's decision in relation to the proposed merger of NZME and Fairfax's New Zealand subsidiary Stuff. The proposed merger was rejected by the NZ Court of Appeal last month after failing to get the tick of approval from the New Zealand Commerce Commission in May last year ,and, the High Court in December.

IPOs

Product sampling and digital promotions platform, PINCHme.com Inc. (ASX:PIN) started trading today. It floated with an issue price of $0.50, opened at $0.44 and it closed at $0.39.

Best and worst performers 

The best performing sector was Healthcare adding 0.7 per cent while the worst performing sector was Energy, shedding 2.1 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Regis Resources (ASX:RRL), rising 5.5 per cent to close at $4.39. Shares in Saracen Mineral Holdings (ASX:SAR) and Ausdrill (ASX:ASL) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Super Retail Group (ASX:SUL), dropping 10.9 per cent to close at $8.33. Shares in Worley Parsons (ASX:WOR) and Bellamy's (ASX:BAL) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.8 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.7 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 1.5 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,232 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 0.7 per cent to US$74.31. Its futures are pointing to a rise of 1.1 per cent.
Light crude is US$3.27 lower at US$66.09 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 70.99 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin has gained 0.5 per cent to US$6512, Ethereum has gained 0.3 per cent to US$205 and XRP has gained about 2.9 per cent to US$0.46, in the last 24 hours.