Wisetech Global (ASX:WTC) claw back after short-seller knock: ASX closes flat

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market dipped at the open but managed to gain momentum close to the end of trade closing flat. Shares in Wisetech Global (ASX:WTC) clawed back up today after they hit back at a second short-seller J Capital report refuting their claims. Costa Group Holdings (ASXC:CGC) has voluntarily suspended trade pending an announcement to the market. This could take up to five days. Shares in Mayne Pharma Group (ASX:MYX) dropped today despite reporting that Mithra Pharmaceuticals, presented trial results for their oral contraceptive at the European Society of Gynecology (ESG) in Vienna, Austria. As for the sectors, REITS led the way and Telcos came in last.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 1 point higher to finish at 6,673.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 55 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 4 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a fall of 11 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 11 point fall tomorrow morning.

Broker moves

UBS has upgraded its rating for Inghams (ASX:ING) to Neutral from a Sell. Target price is $3.10 Current Price is $3.09. The company is still targeting growth in FY20, although oversupply from poultry export bans will put pressure on earnings in the first half. Shares in Inghams (ASX:ING) last traded at $3.09.
Company news

The Westpac Group (ASX:WBC) today announced that its cash earnings in the second half 2019 will be reduced by an estimated $341 million due to its customer remediation programs. Westpac CEO Mr Brian Hartzer says “As part of our ‘get it right put it right’ initiative we are determined to fix these issues and stop these errors occurring. Shares in Westpac Group (ASX:WBC) closed 0.2 per cent lower at $28.91.

WiseTech Global (ASX:WTC) have hit back at J Capital Research after they released a second short-seller report on Monday leading Wisetech to request a trading halt. The company rejects the claims of financial impropriety and irregularity contained in the Report.

Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) is to review its interest in New Zealand’s Aluminium Smelter (NZAS) at Tiwai Point, to determine the operation’s ongoing viability and competitive position. They believe that with the short term to medium outlook for the aluminium industry looking challenging, that this asset could continue to be unprofitable.

Karoon Energy (ASX:KAR) is set to undertake a fully underwritten equity raising of approximately $284 million to complete the funding of the Baúna oil field acquisition and to support future growth initiatives.

Best and worst performers 

The best performing sector was Real Estate Investment Trust adding 0.6 per cent while the worst performing sector was Communication Services, shedding 0.9 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Gold Road Resources (ASX:GOR), rising 13.7 per cent to $1.17, followed by shares in Wisetech Global (ASX:WTC) and Saracen Mineral

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY), dropping 7 per cent to close at $0.85. Shares in Pro Medicus (ASX:PME) and Mayne Pharma Group (ASX:MYX) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.9 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.3 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,490 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 1.5 per cent to US$86.68.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 1.7 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.16 lower at US$54.32 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 68.45 US cents.