Oil Search guidance uncertain after mooring system damaged: ASX closes 0.5% higher

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

It has been a rollercoaster of a day for the Australian share market. After opening in the red the local bourse managed to gain momentum to close at 0.5 per cent higher. Shares in Bega Cheese (ASX:BGA) are up 8 per cent today after announcing its highest ever normalised earnings of $115.4 million, up 5 per cent from 2017-18. On a statutory basis earnings were down. Shares in Afterpay Touch (ASX:APT) rose as did Appen (ASX:APX) up over 10 per cent – they are due to report tomorrow. Bellamy's (ASX:BAL) shares have taken a hit after reporting a substantial decline in profits. And Speedcast International (ASX:SDA) took a huge dive for the second day in a row. As for the sectors, The Information Technology sector is leading the way and the Telcos sector is trailing behind.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 29 points higher to finish at 6,501.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting arise of 73 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 9 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a lift of 27 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 0.6 per cent rise tomorrow morning.

Economic news

The Australian Bureau of Statistics show the trend estimate for total construction work done fell 2.7 per cent in the June quarter 2019.

Company news

The mooring system at Oil Search (ASX:OSH) – operated liquids offshore loading facilities in the Gulf of Papua is believed to be damaged. Adverse weather and sea conditions in the Gulf of Papua, mean Oil Search has not been able to complete the necessary inspections to fully assess the issue. As a precautionary measure they temporarily suspended scheduled liquids loading last week. The PNG LNG Operator also partially reduced production. It is as yet unclear whether it will be necessary to adjust the 2019 production guidance, as a result of these loading issues. Shares in Oil Search (ASX:OSH) closed 0.8 per cent higher at $6.48.

Virgin Australia (ASX:VAH) is set to lose 750 corporate and head office roles, representing $75.0 million in cost savings by the end of Financial Year 2020. The move comes as the group reports underlying loss before tax of $71.2 million, due to new route investments, and $158.8 million in fuel and foreign exchange headwinds.

Construction materials and lime producer Adelaide Brighton (ASX:ABC) today reported its half year results for the period ending 30 June 2019 showing reported net loss after tax of $17.9 million, down 121.2 per cent on the prior corresponding from $84.5 million. This loss was mainly due to an after tax non-cash impairment charge of $69.9 million.

Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG) is looking to raise $1 billion in equity capital from institutional investors. The company went into a trading halt yesterday ahead of the announcement.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Information Technology adding 3.6 per cent while the worst performing sector was Communication Services, shedding 1.2 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Appen (ASX:APX), rising 10.8 per cent to close at $27.37. Shares in AfterPay Touch Group (ASX:APT) and Promedicus (ASX:PME) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Speedcast International (ASX:SPA), dropping 33.2 per cent to close at $0.76. Shares in Ardent Leisure Group (ASX:ALG) and Bingo Industries (ASX:BIN) followed lower.

Asian markets

Mixed:Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.01 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.1 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,540 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 3 per cent to US$82.35.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 0.8 per cent.
Light crude is US$2.25 up at US$55.69 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 67.39 US cents.