Cashless competition needed: ASX 0.4% lower at noon, 8% down from Oct

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

Volatility has been a theme for the Australian share market for the past two months with the market losing 488 points or 8 per cent from the beginning of October. But year to date, the ASX200 is down 5.6 per cent [6 per cent]. 

The local bourse has wiped out Friday’s gains, on the back of oil and commodity weakness with S&P/ASX 200 index losing 23 points or 0.4 per cent at 5,693 at noon. SPI futures are eyeing a 12-point fall.

Energy stocks are down the most amid growing inventories in the US which saw the oil price slide 7 per cent, having shed 30 per cent in the last 7 weeks. Energy leads most sectors lower while Financials are steady.

RBA governor, Philip Lowe made a speech about a shift towards cashless payments, saying more work needed to be done in making electronic payments more efficiently and there needs to be strong competition. The Governor also made reference to a world in which banknotes are used in very few payments. The RBA says the average Australian goes to the ATM 25 times a year and the downward trends from 2010 is likely to continue. 

Company news

Real estate investor and manager, Cromwell Property Group (ASX:CMW) has entered into a trading halt pending an announcement about a potential capital raising. Last month Cromwell announced it will take up rights in Cromwell European Real Estate Investment Trust (CEREIT) and grow its assets under management (AUM). Cromwell owns 35.3 per cent of the European trust (CEREIT) and CEREIT is seeking to raise €224.1 million to buy €312.5 million of 16 office assets in Finland and Poland. Today Cromwell Property Group (ASX:CMW) at $1.03 at noon. Over the year, its shares are trading flat, while over the past five years, its shares are trading 6 per cent today.

Bega (ASX:BGA) advised that Perpetual (ASX:PPT) now holds about 14 per cent of the company, [13.92 per cent] of Bega Cheese shares. As part of Bega’s constitution, it does not allow a person or company and their association to hold greater than 15 per cent of the company. Shares in Bega (ASX:BGA) are trading 0.7 per cent higher at $5.89 at noon. Over the year, Bega shares are trading 20 per cent lower. Over the past five years, its shares are up 25 per cent.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is REITs/Property adding 0.4 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Energy, shedding 1.9 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Appen (ASX:APX), rising 5.9 per cent to $12.99 followed by shares in Wisetech Global Limited (ASX:WTC) and Afterpay Touch Group Limited (ASX:APT).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Iluka Resources Limited (ASX:ILUI), dropping 4.5 per cent to $7.88, followed by shares in Breville Group Limited (ASX:BRG) and Santos Limited (ASX:STO).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,223 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 2.8 per cent to US$70.13 and its futures are pointing to a fall of 5.6 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 72.32 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin has gained 5 per cent to US$4,054, Ethereum has added about 3.6 per cent to US$116 and XRP has gained about 3.8 per cent to US$0.36.

Jessica Amir

Finance News Network
Jessica joined FNN in January 2017 with a passion for equities and funds management. As Head of News, she has been a broadcast journalist for over seven years, specialising in finance. She has been a journalist with Sky News Business, ABC 1, ABC's The Business and ABC24. She’s also worked as a TV reporter for regional Channel 7 and 9. She also previously worked as a financial planner and real estate agent.