Lepidico resource estimate up 290%: Aus shares close 0.4% lower

Market Reports

by Katrina Bullock

It's been a day of sell offs on the ASX with the market unwinding its 3 days of gains. After opening above the line it lost ground over the morning and despite a midsession surge, it didn't manage to claw its way back to positive territory. As for the sectors, Real Estate and Communications made some ground while Healthcare and Materials were the biggest drags on the market. Some good news for Lithium company Lepidico (ASX:LPD) increased its global mineral resource estimate for its mining project in Portugal by 290 per cent.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 25 points or 0.4 per cent lower to finish at 6,199.

Broker moves

Citi has upgraded Austal's (ASX:ASB) twelve month price target from $2.31 to $2.76. They maintain their recommendation to buy saying Austal’s Vietnam shipyard is strategically located, it's management team is strong it is trading at a 14 per cent discount compared to its peers.

Citi has downgraded Magellan Financial Group (ASX:MFG) from a buy to a neutral with a twelve month price target of $39.80 saying that despite this it continues to be one to watch.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 5 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 0.3 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a dip of 1 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 27 point fall tomorrow morning.

Economic news

The ABS released overseas arrival and departure figures for the month of February. Short-term visitor arrivals increased 0.1% when compared with January 2019. This followed monthly increases of 0.1% in December 2018 and 0.2% in January 2019. February's short term arrivals are up 0.9% year on year.

Short-term resident returning to Australia decreased by 0.3% when compared with the previous month. No change was observed for December 2018 and a 0.2% decrease for January 2019.

Company news

Lithium company Lepidico (ASX:LPD) has updated its mineral resource estimate for its mining project in Portugal. It says global mineral resource tonnes have increased by 290 per cent. Contained lithium within the estimate has risen by approximately 210 per cent compared to its 2017 estimate. The average grade however has reduced. Shares in Lepidico (ASX:LPD) closed 8.8 per cent lower at 3 cents.

QANTM Intellectual Property (ASX:QIP) confirmed today that it will not be providing a counter offer matching the terms of IPH’s (ASX:IPH) revised proposal to purchase Xenith IP Group.

Sales enablement company, Big tin can Holdings (ASX:BTH) has launched a fully underwritten offer to raise approximately $15.6 million.

Construction, maintenance and mining services group, SRG Global (ASX:SRG) has penned an $11.85 million contract for the Lincoln Square Project with the University of Melbourne.

Gold and cobalt exporter, Alloy Resources (ASX:AYR), has increased the inferred mineral resource estimate at its Horse Well Gold Project in Western Australia by 300 per cent.

Defence company, Electro Optic Systems Holding (ASX:EOS) has responded to media speculation saying that 'no EOS product has ever been deployed to or used in Yemen'.

Diversified mining service provider, Ausdrill (ASX: ASL), has entered into an agreement with Pentium Hydro and Vysarn (ASX:VYS) to sell the Company’s hydrogeological drilling assets for $16 million.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Real Estate adding 0.5 per cent while the worst performing sector was Healthcare, shedding 1 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Ardent Leisure Group (ASX:ALG), rising 4.7 per cent to close at $1.22. Shares in Speedcast International (ASX:SDA) and Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX:URW) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Bank of Queensland (ASX:BOQ),dropping 4.9 per cent to close at $8.95. Shares in Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (ASX:API) and Orocobre (ASX:ORE) followed lower.

Asian markets

Mixed: Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.6 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.8 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,308 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 0.3 per cent to US$94.61.
Its futures are pointing to a lift of 0.5 per cent.
Light crude is 55 cents higher up at US$64.51 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.59 US cents.