Slow start to the week: ASX closes 0.4% lower

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market closed 0.4 per cent lower – the lowest value since the beginning of the month. Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) shares gained after it announced plans to buy a Canadian gold and copper mine for $1.12 billion. Financial services company Perpetual (ASX:PPT) made a rise of over 12 per cent despite no announcements from them today. Installment payment company Splitit (ASX:SPT) has answered a price enquiry from the ASX after their shares jumped 52 per cent over the last few sessions. Company Secretary Charly Duffy says the shares race and articles from Forbes and other magazines could have pushed the stock price up. And AMP and Clayton Utz surrender in ASIC court battle over failure to produce documents. At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 24 points lower to finish at 6180.

Futures

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 94 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 1 point.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a gain of 5 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 19 point fall tomorrow morning

Company news 

Law firm Clayton Utz has provided ASIC with its internal file notes from the firm’s interviews with current and former employees and officers of AMP (ASX:AMP), who were interviewed regarding fees for no service in October 2017. The Clayton Utz report was considered in the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry in April 2018. AMP agreed to pay the regulators costs. ASIC Deputy Chair Daniel Crennan QC says: 'ASIC is pleased that the documents have now been produced but is disappointed that the matter was not resolved sooner,’'. Shares in AMP (ASX:AMP) 1.3 per cent higher at $2.34.

Machine learning and artificial intelligence company, Appen (ASX:APX) has entered into a binding agreement to acquire San Francisco-based Figure Eight Technologies. Appen will pay upfront consideration of US$175 million plus earn-out consideration payable in March next year. Figure Eight is an innovative customer facing software-as-a-service platform with machine learning-assisted annotation.

Santos (ASX:STO), Beach Energy and Key Petroleum have entered into a Non-binding MoU to cover proposed terms for gas processing into the Cooper Basin gas gathering network. The agreement also covers processing at the Santos-operated Moomba Gas Processing Facility.

Gold miner Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) has agreed to acquire a majority stake in copper and gold mine in Canada for $1.12 billion. They plan to acquire a 70 per cent joint-venture interest in the Red Chris mine and surrounding tenements in British Columbia from Toronto-listed Imperial Metals Corp.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Telcos adding 0.3 per cent while the worst performing sector was Energy, shedding 1.6 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Perpetual (ASX:PPT), rising 12.3 per cent to close at $43.20. Shares in St Barbara (ASX:SBM) and Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Bingo Industries (ASX:BIN), dropping 5 per cent to close at $1.53. Shares in WorleyParsons (ASX:WOR) and Infigen Energy (ASX:IFN) followed lower.

Asian markets 

Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.4 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.7 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 1.6 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,298 an ounce.
Iron ore price dipped 2.1 per cent to US$85.77
Iron ore futures are eyeing a fall of 3 per cent.
Light crude is $0.59 down at US$56.07 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 70.41 US cents.