Tassal slips on CEO selling $1m shares, Lynas blocks WES takeover: ASX closes 0.1% higher

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market finished marginally in the black, falling at the open and remaining underwater throughout the session on the back selling in half of the sectors. While Eclipx (ASX:ECX) shares bounced 23 per cent higher, kicking off its all-time lows and paring back some of the last two sessions of selling. Not enough to get out of all-time low territory that it sank into last week.

On the economic news front, engineering construction work fell 3.6 per cent in the December 2018 quarter according to the ABS, while it fell 5.1 per cent year on year.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 0.09 per cent higher or 5 points higher at 6,136.

On Tuesday on Wall Street, three of the major US indices closed in the black with the S&P500 inking its third day of gains after Citigroup, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and J.P.Morgan Chase all rose over 1 per cent.

Futures

Dow futures are suggesting a gain of 21 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 5 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a gain of 15 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 5 point rise tomorrow morning

Company news

Tassal Group (ASX:TGR) shares were sold down by investors today just a week after the Executive Director and CEO advised he was selling down about $964,000 of shares (200,000 shares at $4.82 per share). Mark Ryan is committed to the role as MD and CEO and says he has no further intention to sell TGR shares, but the sale had to be made to fund to ‘balance his personal financial position’ and to finalise an income tax payment for a previous share issue. Shares in Tassal Group (ASX:TGR) closed 6.4 per cent lower at $4.46, however its shares are 26 per cent year higher year-on-year.

Eclipx Group (ASX:ECX) has announced a $20 million cost reduction program. The vehicle fleet leasing company will bring in the reductions over the next 18 months. Last week Eclipx shares fell after its management and McMillan Shakespeare (ASX:MMS) announced a merger between them both was “unlikely”, coupled with Eclipx reporting results which missed expectations. 

Rare earths company Lynas Corporation (ASX:LYC) says after consulting with advisers it will not engage Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) on the terms outlined yesterday, in its $1.5 billion takeover proposal. Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) values Lynas’ shares at $2.25 per share. LYC’s 52 week high is $2.96, while its 52 week low is $1.48.

Amaysim Australia (ASX:AYS) announced that the proceedings brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) against its entity Click Energy have been resolved. Meantime, the telco also advised it raised $15.9 million via a retail entitlement offer at $0.60 per share. Together with its institutional offer, its’s now raised $50.6 million

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sectors, neck-on-neck were Telcos, Financials adding 0.3 per cent while the worst performing sector was Utilities, shedding 1.3 per cent, followed by Healthcare, Consumer Discretionary, with Energy and Staples seeing minor losses.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Eclipx Group (ASX:ECX), rising 22.8 per cent to close at $0.70. Shares in Nufarm (ASX:NUF) and Nine Entertainment Co Holdings (ASX:NEC) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Tassal Group (ASX:TGR), dropping 6.5 per cent to close at $4.64. Shares in Alumina (ASX:AWC) and St Barbara (ASX:SBM) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.4 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.5 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.6 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,316 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 0.7 per cent to US$85.23
ron ore futures are eyeing a rise of 0.2 per cent.
Light crude is $1.22 up at US$60.04 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.05 US cents.