Lynas shares plunge after Malaysia review: ASX closes 0.8% lower

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

For a second day the Australian share market dropped lower as Wall Street saw a sell off due to tensions around the US-China trade deal. Trade Me Group (ASX:TME) shares rose after it announced it had received a second indicative proposal to acquire the business. Lynas (ASX:LYC) took a hit after a review from the Malaysian Government. The Aussie dollar fell after the ABS released figures for the September quarter showing the economy falling below expectations. There was a weak rally towards the end of trade. At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 45 points lower, or 0.8 per cent lower to finish at 5,668.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 61 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 9 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing lift of 27 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 71 point fall tomorrow.

Economic news

The Australian economy grew 0.3 per cent in seasonally adjusted chain volume terms in the September quarter 2018, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today. This is below expectations of 0.6 per cent.

Company news

Rare earths producer Lynas (ASX:LYC) has been ordered by the Malaysian government to remove 450,000 metric tonnes of radioactive waste from the country as a pre-condition for future licences to operate. The Energy and Environment Ministry says that the six years worth of waste stored in a temporary facility within Lynas' $1.1 billion plant, posed a growing risk to surrounding communities and to the environment. The recommendations also request that Lynas conducts groundwater monitoring and studies on the Balok River aquatic ecosystem including biological monitoring. They will also have to present an action plan for the disposal of non-radioactive waste. Shares in Lynas (ASX:LYC) closed 22.4 per cent lower at $1.65

Poultry producer, Inghams (ASX:ING) has announced plans to build a new $46 million poultry hatchery in Victoria. The new hatchery is expected to be completed in 2020 and will employ 100 people during the construction period and 20 ongoing jobs when fully operational.

Oxford Properties Group has received the green light from the Supreme Court of New South Wales for its acquisition of Investa Office Fund (ASX:IOF). Orders approving the takeover which worth around $3.4 billion will be lodged with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission tomorrow, (6 December 2018) at which time the Oxford proposal will become legally effective.

And Bank of Queensland (ASX:BOQ) CEO and MD, Jon Sutton has resigned to focus on his long-term health following a heart operation earlier this year. Chief operating officer, Anthony Rose will be interim CEO which a search an executive search is conducted.

IPOs

Alliance Mineral Assets (ASX:A40) started trading today. The mineral exploration and production company floated with an issue price of $0.21, opened at $0.33 and it closed at $0.33.

Best and worst performers 

The best performing sector was Utilities adding 1.4 per cent while the worst performing sector was Financials excluding REIT, shedding 1.3 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was TradeMe Group (ASX:TME), rising 3.5 per cent to close at $5.90. Shares in APA Group (ASX:APA) and Coles Group (ASX:COL) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Lynas Corp (ASX:LYC), dropping 22.4 per cent to close at $1.65. Shares in Nine Entertainment Group (ASX:NEC) and Ausdrill (ASX:ASL) followed lower.

Asian markets

lower:Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.7 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 1.7 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.5 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,235 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 1.2 per cent to US$ 67.16 and its futures are pointing to a rise of 1.2 per cent.
Light crude is $0.34 lower at $US52.61 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 72.85 US cents.