Markets take a dip on last day of trade for 2018: ASX closes 0.1% lower

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

It was a fairly positive day of trade for the Australian share market until it closed lower as the market took an early mark for New Year's Eve. The market has felt the pressure for the last three months with key markets down 15 to 20 per cent. It's likely this rollercoaster will continue into the new year with the US china Trade war still looming and oil prices plunging. The Australian Dollar continues to slide against the US dollar. The Japanese yen is set to end the year as one of the biggest winners against the US dollar after outperforming the British pound and euro rising 5 percent in the third quarter, the highest in 16 years. Back home at the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 8 points lower, or 0.1 per cent lower to finish at 5,646.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting arise of 202 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 20 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing lift of 60 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 16 point fall Wednesday

Company news

Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR) has achieved first production of unpurified spherical graphite at its Battery Anode Material (BAM) facility in Louisiana, USA using Balama natural graphite. Managing director and CEO Shaun Verner says it was a significant milestone for the company. Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR) trading 4.2 per cent higher at $1.51

Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY) says they have received multiple bids for a strategic partnership for development of their lithium brine project Sal de Vida. Project financing has been substantially de-risked after transfers of the northern tenement package to POSCO for US$280 million

Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) has chosen Perth-based mining contractor NRW (ASX:NWH) as the preferred contractor to deliver the Stage 1 Earthworks, Roadworks and Drainage Works of Fortescue’s Eliwana Rail Project. The project value is around $57 million .

And Centrex Metals (ASX:CXM) has entered into a contract with local rural investment business FREE Eyre Limited for the sale of its Port Spencer land holding for $1.4 million. Expected to complete in late February, the sale completes the exit of its iron ore interests and transformation to a fertiliser business.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Telcos adding 0.5 per cent while the worst performing sector was REITS, shedding 2.6 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Infigen Energy (ASX:IFN), rising 4.5 per cent to close at $0.47. Shares in Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR) and Altium (ASX:ALU) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Healius (ASX:HLS), dropping 4.7 per cent to close at $2.23. Shares in Ooh!Media (ASX:OML) and Invocare (ASX:IVC) followed lower.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,278 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.72 up at $US45.33 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 70.67 US cents.