Clinuvel shares sky rocket after FDA approval: ASX closes 0.7% lower

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

It has been a disappointing day of trade for the Australian share market. After dropping at the open the ASX closed 0.7 per cent lower. Shares in biopharmaceutical company Clinuvel (ASX:CUV) did well today – they are at an all time high. Flight Centre (ASX:FLT) shares declined though as did News Corp (ASX:NWS). As for the sectors, the best performing sector was Communication Services while the worst performing sector was Consumer Discretionary.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 47 points lower to finish at 6,647.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 39 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 7 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a lift of 12 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 0.7 per cent fall tomorrow morning.

Economic news

The Westpac-Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment fell 5.5% to 92.8 in October from 98.2 in September. This is the lowest level of the Index since July 2015. The Index has fallen by 8.4% since the Reserve Bank started cutting rates in June and is down by 8.6% over the last year.

Company news

Biopharmaceutical company CLINUVEL (ASX:CUV) saw their shares rise today after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new drug as the first ever treatment for a rare genetic metabolic disorder which causes absolute intolerance to light. SCENESSE® has been approved to “increase pain free light exposure in adult patients with a history of phototoxic reactions. In 2014, SCENESSE® was approved by the European Medicines Agency. Shares in CLINUVEL (ASX:CUV) closed 60.2 per cent at $45.

Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) reports that Chinese lithium-ion battery manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) has been approved to buy a stake in them. The People’s Republic of China approvals were one of the key outstanding conditions precedent under the share subscription agreement for completion of the $55 million strategic placement of Pilbara shares to CATL. Shareholders will vote to support the equity raising next week. Shares in Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) closed flat at $0.30.

Flight Centre (ASX:FLT) reported today that their first-half underlying profit would be below the figure from same corresponding period a year ago. Managing director Graham Turner says the company has not yet seen benefits flowing from recent interest rate cuts and tax refunds and that any benefits were more likely to be seen later in financial year 2020.

Cleanaway Waste Management (ASX:CWY) is set to acquire the assets of the SKM Recycling Group. The acquisition will provide Cleanaway with a network of five recycling sites for around $66 million.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Communication Services adding 0.3 per cent while the worst performing sector was Consumer Discretionary, shedding 1.7 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals (ASX:CUV), rising 60.2 per cent to close at $45. Shares in Cleanaway Waste Management (ASX:CWY) and Pro Medicus (ASX:PME) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Flight Centre Travel Group (ASX:FLT), dropping 11.7 per cent to close at $41.67. Shares in Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) and Orocobre (ASX:ORE) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.7 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.7 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.01 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,506 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 1.5 per cent to US$94.77
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 0.8 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.06 up at US$52.57 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 67.38 US cents.