Telstra up 7.8%: ASX closes 0.5% lower

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market failed to make major gains throughout the day and closed 0.5 per cent lower or 31 points down to 5874. Investors have been ingesting some large reports out today - Commsec's State of States and the NAB's monthly survey. Fleet management and financial services company Eclipx Group (ASX:ECX) suffered a decline after a weak profit outlook cast doubt on its merger with McMillan Shakespeare. Medical equipment company ResMed Inc (ASX:RMD) also continued to fall. Telco services were leading the index today with Telstra (ASX:TLS) at a 12 week high. This boost could be on the back of the news that TPG (ASX:TPM) is cancelling its mobile network roll out. Hear more on TPG later in the bulletin. Healthcare was the worst performing sector today. And the ASX welcomed the first IPO for 2019 today. Installment payment solutions company Splitit Payments (ASX:SPT).
Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 78 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 8 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a fall of 29 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 38 point fall for tomorrow morning.

Local economic news

Victoria and NSW are the top economic performers in the country and the ACT is a close third. The latest CommSec ‘State of the States’ report shows strong population and jobs growth is driving increased spending and investment.

Another report out today is the NAB Monthly Survey shows business conditions fell sharply in December, slumped 9 points to under the long term average of 6. The survey guages the health of company trading, profits and employment.

Company news

RCR Tomlinson (ASX:RCR) Administrators, McGrathNicol Restructuring have announced the sale of RCR Laser to Unique Metal Works. The sale ensures the entitlements and jobs of nearly 200 employees are kept. The transaction connects one of Australia’s largest quality certified laser cutting businesses with one of Australia's most innovative manufacturers in high quality sheet metal products. Shares in RCR Tomlinson (ASX:RCR) last traded at $0.87.

TPG Telecom's (ASX:TPM) plan to build Australia's mobile network has come to an end due to the Government's ban on using 5G equipment from Chinese company Huawei. TPG says it has already incurred costs of around $100 million in the rollout. The decision comes after the ACCC postponed deciding whether to block a merger between TPG and Vodafone Hutchison Australia. Shares in TPG Telecom (ASX:TPM) 1.01 per cent lower at $6.89

Industrial explosive's maker, Incitec Pivot (ASX:IPL) says unplanned outages at two of its plants are expected to impact its earning by around 45 million. The Louisiana plant has been impacted by issues in its CO2 removal system. Also, the company's Phosphate Hill facility was affected by a leak in its phosphoric acid plant.

Credit Corp (ASX:CCP) has been a great performer today after releasing reports of its first half profit growth of 13 per cent and improved outlook. Their NPAT increased to $33.6 million.


Installment payment solutions company Splitit Payments (ASX:SPT) floated today. It's issue price was 20 cents it opened at 30.5 cents currently trading at 38 cents. The company is welcoming five new experienced directors to its international board, including Spiro Pappas, a former senior executive at National Australia Bank, who will serve as Chairman.

Best and worst performers 

The best performing sector was Telco adding 5 per cent while the worst performing sector was Healthcare, shedding 2.5 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Telstra Corp (ASX:TLS), rising 7.8 per cent to close at $3.19. Shares in St Barbara (ASX:SBM) and Saracen Mineral Holdings (ASX:SAR) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Eclipx Group (ASX:ECX), dropping 16.5 per cent to close at $2.22. Shares in ResMed Inc (ASX:RMD) and Incitec Pivot (ASX:IPL) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.5 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.6 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,304 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 4.6 per cent at $78.13 and its futures are pointing to a rise of 0.7 per cent
Light crude is $1.60 lower at $US52.09 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.65 US cents.

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