ASX hits a four week low: ASX closes 0.6% lower

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The ASX closed lower today with a dip in afternoon trade. Real Estate Investment Trusts was the best performing sector whereas Energy was the worst performing sector today. Viva Energy Group (ASX:VEA) saw fall. They released revised EBITDA forecasts for the 2018 financial year from its refining business. The information technology sector also underperformed. Also today the Financial Services Royal Commission was on going with the Commonwealth Bank chief executive Matt Comyn appearing today. At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 37 points lower, or 0.6 per cent lower to finish at 5,694.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 77 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 10 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing fall of 21 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 25 point fall tomorrow.

Economic news

The average Australian home size has dropped to a 22-year low, according to CommSec, but Australia still ranks second in the world behind the US for dwelling space.

Company news

Fairfax Media (ASX:FXJ) shareholders have overwhelmingly voted in favour of a takeover from Nine Entertainment Co. (ASX:NEC). 81.49 per cent of shareholders approved plans for the two companies to merge by the end of the year in an historic deal. Former Domain chief executive Antony Catalano asked Fairfax to delay the shareholder vote on Sunday evening after a dramatic eleventh-hour offer to buy up to 19.9 per cent of the newspaper publisher's shares and sell off non-core assets.Shares in Fairfax Media (ASX:FXJ) are trading 2.4 per cent higher at $0.63.
AGL Energy (ASX:AGL) is saying goodbye to its Chief Customer Officer Melissa Reynolds. She is moving on to pursue other interests. She led the delivery of their Customer Experience Transformation program which is now substantially complete. Shares in AGL Energy (ASX:AGL) closes 0.9 per cent lower to $18.40.

Future Generation Investment Company (ASX:FGX) began trading again today after raising over $43.9 million through a placement to existing investors. The share purchase plan offered existing shareholders the opportunity to acquire up to $15,000 worth of shares without incurring brokerage fees.

Viva Energy Group (ASX:VEA) revised its EBITDA forecasts for the 2018 financial year from its refining business, down from $216.7 million to approximately $150 million. It attributes the $66.7 million write down to lower than expected regional refining margins in the second half of the 2018 financial year and lost production as a result of the disruption in electricity supply from the external power grid in August.

Water solutions company, Fluence Corporation (ASX:FLC) will deliver six MABR-based Aspinal packaged solutions to China in a new partnership with environmental firm Zhongzi Huaze. The temperatures in the Province, where the units will be installed can drop below minus 30 degrees, making waste water treatment difficult. The MABR-based solution is designed to perform in extremely cold weather.

Best and worst performers 

The best performing sector was Real Estate Investment Trusts adding 0.2 per cent while the worst performing sector was Energy, shedding 1.6 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Orocobre (ASX:ORE), rising 7.5 per cent to close at $5.00. Shares in Ausdrill (ASX:ASL) and Cleanaway Waste Management (ASX:CWY) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Viva Energy Group (ASX:VEA),dropping 12.2 per cent to close at $1.80. Shares in Afterpay Touch Group (ASX:APT) and Medibank Private (ASX:MPL) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.5 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.4 per cent and the Shanghai Composite hasgained 0.2 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,220 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 0.5 per cent to US$ 75.31. Its futures are pointing to a rise of 1.2 per cent.
Light crude is flat at US$56.68 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 73.07 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Some of the most traded cryptocurrencies are trading lower: Bitcoin has fallen 1.2 per cent to US$5,537, Ethereum has fallen 3.9 per cent to US$169 and XRP shed 3.3 per cent to $0.49.