Energy weighs on week: Aus shares close flat on Friday

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian stock market broke its five-day red run, closing higher by the skin of its teeth with a gain of just 1 point. It was a sour second last week for October, with US economic concerns rattling our market.

AMP (ASX:AMP) hit a new all-time low after it announced falls in AMP Capital cash flows and the $3.45 billion sale of its life and wealth protection businesses. Meantime, it was upgraded to a high-risk buy by Citi.

The biggest drag this week came from the Energy sector which lost about 9 per cent, after the oil price hit a three-month low on Monday. The Consumer Discretionary sector followed Energy and lost over 7 per cent. The smaller IT sector followed closely behind losing 6.8 per cent. Over the week though, the sector with the least losses was Industrials, which fell 2.7 per cent with Staples slipping 4 per cent.

At the closing bell the ASX/S&P 200 index closed 1 point higher, or 0.02 per cent higher, to finish at 5,665. Over the week it closed 274 points lower or 4.8 per cent lower.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 151 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 17 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a fall of 79 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 10 point gain for Monday morning.

Most traded stocks

The top three stocks by value were CSL (ASX:CSL), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) and BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP).

Company news

Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) has teamed up with BP, Cue Energy (ASX:CUE) and New Zealand Oil and Gas to form a joint venture to farm-in and drill the Ironbark-1 exploration well in WA. If approved, BP will lead the operations taking a 42.5 per cent stake in the joint venture.  Cue will have 21.5 per cent and Beach will have a 21 per cent holding. Shares in Beach Energy Limited (ASX:BPT) closed flat at $1.54.

Health device company ResMed (ASX:RMD) saw its revenue rise 12 per cent to $588.3 million in the first quarter of 2019 on the back of expanding its product offering.

And ahead of IOOF Holdings’ (ASX:IFL) AGM on 28 November, it has sent investors its annual report. Just yesterday it advised net inflows into its platform, advice division and investment management fell in the September quarter. Meantime, Citi has the stock as a buy with a price target of $10.90 (12-months), noting IFL hit record flows in funds under management and advice, well above Citi’s prior forecast.

Mayne Pharma (ASX:MYX) has snapped up the US and Australian rights to halobetasol foam, a dermatological product for treating psoriasis for an investment of US$32 million. Psoriasis affects 7.5 million Americans each year.

Primary Health Care (ASX:PRY) will pay out $18 million to past and present employees for incorrect payments, made under the award July 2011.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Health Care adding 0.5 per cent, while the worst performing sector was Consumer Discretionary, shedding 1.2 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG), rising 5.2 per cent to close at $3.83. Shares in Lynas Corporation (ASX:LYC) and Resmed (ASX:RMD) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Primary Health Care (ASX:PRY), dropping 7.7 per cent to close at $2.53. Shares in G8 Education (ASX:GEM) and Mayne Pharma Group (ASX:MYX) followed lower.

Asian markets

Lower. Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 1 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.5 per cent.

Wall Street

Wrapped up our four trading days this week lower. The Dow Jones lost 1.8 per cent, the S&P 500 lost 2.3 per cent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 1.8 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,232 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 1.8 per cent to US$76.04 and its futures are pointing to a rise of 1 per cent.
Light crude is up US$0.16 to US$66.98 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 70.34 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin has fallen 0.3 per cent to US$6,457, Ethereum has gained 0.1 per cent to US$203 and EOS lost 0.02 per cent to US$5.37.