Five day streak comes to an end: ASX closes 0.5% lower

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market closed 0.5 per cent lower today – the first negative close in the last five. There is slower growth in China as the trade war rambles on with the US. Also in the US consumer confidence is taking a dip as the government suffers from one of the longest shut downs in history. Back home Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR) did well today as did Mayne Pharma (ASX:MYX) and Domain Holdings (ASX:DHG). As for the sectors, Consumer Staples did well today with Financials dragging the market down. At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 32 points lower to finish at 5,859.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 181 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 19 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing fall of 62 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 25 point fall for tomorrow morning.

Economic News

The Australian Bureau of Statistics released results from the Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours today showing that in May 2018, Managers and Professionals had the highest average hourly earnings at $60.40 and $54.00 per hour.
The lowest hourly earners, on average, were Sales workers $28.50 and Labourers $29.50. The average for all employees was $39.10 per hour.

Company news

Auckland Airport (ASX:AIA) today announced a change to its executive team with Jason Delamore, general manager marketing and technology, to leave the company in April 2019. He is moving on to become the chief executive of Fronde, a New Zealand technology integrator. He joined Auckland Airport five years ago. Shares in Auckland Airport (ASX:AIA) closed 0.4 per cent lower at $6.97

Agribusiness Webster (ASX:WBA) today announced changes to the role of Company Secretary. John Glen Tyndall, who holds the position of Chief Financial Officer, has been appointed Company Secretary. Maurice Felizzi, Chief Executive Officer has resigned his position as the Company Secretary as at 22 January 2019, but remains as a Director. Webster (ASX:WBA) closed 1.7 per cent higher at $1.53.

BHP (ASX:BHP) says productivity for the December 2018 half has been impacted by unplanned production outages at Olympic Dam, Spence and Western Australia Iron Ore with a negative impact of about US$600 million US dollars.The update comes following news the Western Australian Government says it believes the mining company has underpaid iron ore royalties over a period of several years.

And the Super Retail Group (ASX:SUL) has promoted the head of its outdoor retailing business to the top job. Anthony Heraghty will replace retiring CEO Peter Birtles from 31 March 2019.

Best and worst performers 

The best performing sector was Consumer Staples adding 0.3 per cent while the worst performing sector was Financials, shedding 1.2 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR), rising 5.7per cent to close at $2.04. Shares in Mayne Pharma Group (ASX:MYX) and Domain (ASX:DHG) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Automotive Holdings Group (ASX:AHG), dropping 4.2 per cent to close at $1.49. Shares in Pact Group (ASX:PGH) and Emeco Holdings (ASX:EHL) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.8 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 1.1 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 1 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,279 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 0.3 per cent at $75.90.
Light crude is $0.18 up at $US54.22 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.38 US cents.