AUD rises to a three-week high: ASX closes 0.4% lower

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market took a downward slide after lunch, closing 0.4 per cent lower. The materials sector weighed heavy on the index. Regis Resources (ASX:RRL) was the worst performing stock. Treasury Wine Estates (ASX:TWE) continues to rise as does Domino’s Pizza Enterprises (ASX:DMP) and healthcare company Healius (ASX:HLS). And the Australian dollar continued to gain, lifting to a three-week high against the greenback. At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 21 points down to finish at 5,775. Over the week, however, it gained 155 points or 2.6 per cent.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 16 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 4 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing fall of 11 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 16 point fall Monday morning.

Economic News

Retail turnover rose 0.4 per cent in November 2018, seasonally adjusted. This follows a rise of 0.3 per cent in October 2018. In trend terms, Australian turnover rose 3.6 per cent in November 2018 compared with November 2017. Household goods retailing (1.2 per cent) led the rises. Online retail turnover contributed 6.6 per cent to total retail turnover in original terms in November 2018, a rise from 5.9 per cent in October 2018.

Company news

Synlait (ASX:SM1) has obtained registration renewal of its Dunsandel plant with the General Administration of Customs of the Peoples’ Republic of China (GACC). The registration allows Synlait to continue to export canned infant formula to China. Synlait first obtained certification for canned infant formula for its Dunsandel site in September 2014. Shares in Synlait (ASX:SM1) closed 0.8 per cent lower at $8.80.

Shares in Treasury Wine Estates (ASX:TWE) have seen a boost after yesterday's reports of expected earnings for the first half of 2018-19 to be above consensus of $332 million.

Alacer Gold Corp. (ASX:AQG) says they had a productive last quarter producing almost 171 thousand ounces of gold in 2018 at $615 per oxide ounce. They have a cash balance of $106 million and debt of $350 million at year end.

MMJ Group Holdings (ASX:MMJ) says MediPharm Labs is already replenishing and increasing inventory to ensure uninterrupted cannabis oil supply for its existing customers for Q1 2019. They purchased over 1,600 kg of additional dried cannabis from 7 different licensed producers between December 18, 2018 and January 8, 2019,

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was REITs, adding 0.9 per cent while the worst performing sector was Materials, shedding 0.9 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Treasury Wine Estates (ASX:TWE), rising 4.3 per cent to close at $14.85. Shares in Domino’s Pizza Enterprises (ASX:DMP) and Healius (ASX:HLS) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Regis Resources (ASX:RRL), dropping 4.3 per cent to close at $4.73. Shares in Pendal Group (ASX:PDL) and Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY) followed lower.

Asian markets

Higher:Japan’s Nikkei has gained 1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.2 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.1 per cent.

Wall Street

Wall Street finished the last four trading days higher. The Dow Jones closed 2.4 per cent higher at 24002 points, the S&P500 closed 2.5 per cent higher at 2597 points and the Nasdaq closed 3.5 per cent higher at 6986 points.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,293 an ounce.
The iron ore price fell 0.7 per cent to $73.36 and its futures are pointing to a rise of 0.2 per cent
Light crude is $0.13 up at $US52.62 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 72.17 US cents.