Market closes as flat as a pancake: Aus shares 0.1% higher

Market Reports

by Katrina Bullock

The local bourse ended the Friday session 0.1 per cent lower, Energy leading the drag, followed by the Tech and Consumer Discretionary sectors. 

Shares in property major, Lendlease Group (ASX:LLC), took a dive after the company announced it is set to write down $350 million in the first half of 2019. 

Half of the sector made gains with Utilities, Property and Telcos leading. At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index finished 6 points lower at 5,922.

Despite today's fall we gained 1.2% or 73 points over the week. 

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 10 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 1 point.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a fall of 11 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 50 point lift on Monday morning. 

Economic news

The RBA advises that GDP growth is expected to remain above trend at an average of around 3.5 per cent over 2018 and 19. The current growth rate of consumption is set to continue and non-mining business investment is expected to become more 'broad based'. These are just some of the announcement made in today’s Monetary Policy Statement.

As expected, the ABS advises that home loans fell 1 per cent in September (seasonally adjusted terms).

Company news 

The board of Restaurant Brands New Zealand Limited (ASX:RBD) expects to be in a position to give a recommendation by the end of this month in relation to a non-binding indicative proposal from Finaccess Capital. Finaccess offered to buy up to 75 per cent of Restaurant Brands' shares in late October at $NZ9.45 cash per share. There is no guarantee that a formal takeover offer will be issued. Shareholders can expect to receive Restaurant Brands’ target company statement, an independent adviser’s report and the opinion of the brand's principal franchisor, Yum! Brands Inc., before the deal proceeds. 

Shares in Restaurant Brands New Zealand Limited (ASX:RBD) last traded at $6.99. 

Oil and gas exploration and development company, FAR (ASX:FAR) has seen lower than expected results from drilling at its Samo-1 offshore well in The Gambia.

Property major Lendlease Group (ASX:LLC) is set to write down about $350 million (after tax) in the first half of 2019, following deterioration in some of its smaller projects within its engineering and services business.

Healthcare company, Bod Australia (ASX:BDA) has joined forces with Australia's largest pharmacy retailer, Chemist Warehouse Group, to distribute its cannabis products.

Wholesaling distribution and marketing player, Metcash (ASX:MTS), has inked a deal to sell its China export business to eCommerce company ECG (ASX:ECG) for $2.5 million plus 85% of the net asset value of the business which will be determined at completion plus deferred consideration of up to $3.5 million.

Hearing device manufacturer Cochlear (ASX:COH) has expanded its collaboration with audio solutions company, GN. The collaboration aims to enhance connectivity and wireless technology for cochlear implant recipients.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Utilities adding 1.5 per cent while the worst performing sector was Energy, shedding 1.3 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was G8 Education (ASX:GEM), rising 11.3 per cent to close at $2.36. Shares in Sigma Healthcare (ASX:SIG) and Costa Group Holdings (ASX: CGC) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Lendlease Group (ASX:LLC),dropping 18.3 per cent to close at $14.25. Shares in Corporate Travel Management (ASX:CTD) and Orocobre (ASX:ORE) followed lower.

Asian Markets

All of the Asian Markets closed in red territory:Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.8 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 2.4 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 1.3 per cent.

Wall Street

Wrapped up our four trading days this week higher: The Dow Jones added 3.5 per cent, The S&P 500 added 3 per cent and the tech heavy Nasdaq gained 2.3 per cent.

Commodities and the Dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,220 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 1.3 per cent to US$76.27. Its futures are pointing to a lift of 1.7 per cent.
Light crude is down US$0.90 at US$60.77 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 72.44 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Some of the most traded crypto currencies are seeing a sea of red. Bitcoin has fallen 0.8 per cent to US$6,437. Ethereum has fallen 0.9 per cent to US$212 and Bitcoin cash shed 1.4 per cent to US$578, in the last 24 hours.