Info Tech only sector in the green: Aus shares close 0.8% lower

Market Reports

by Ortenzia Borre

The Australian share market has experienced a steady decline over the afternoon to close 0.8 per cent lower. The Utilities sector weighed heaviest on the market, losing over 1.2 per cent as did Financials. Information Technology was the leading sector and the only one in the green of the day with waste management company Bingo Industries being the stellar performer on the market.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 55 points lower, to finish at 6,698.

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 75 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 9 points.
The Nasdaq futures are also eyeing a fall of 29 points.
The ASX200 futures are eyeing a 48 point fall tomorrow morning.

Broker moves

UBS has rated Costa Group Holdings (ASX:CGC) as a buy. The broker has reduced the target price to reflect the impact of the capital raising and the company's recent downgrade to expectations. The broker notes the year has been challenging, with six of the company's nine categories experiencing headwinds that are largely outside of its control. UBS says the main question centres on what a normal year for Costa Group really looks like and where the stock should trade, given the lack of visibility. With the balance sheet post the capital raising well within expectations of their three-year earnings growth of 24%, UBS continues to believe the stock should trade at a premium to listed peers.

Company news

Lifestyle Communities (ASX:LIC) has acquired a new site on the Bellarine Peninsula. The St Leonards location will be the second community on the Peninsula and the fourth within the wider Geelong catchment. As a result of this acquisition, Lifestyle Communities’ portfolio will increase by approximately 170 home sites to 3,730 which includes sites in planning, development and under management. Shares in Lifestyle Communities (ASX:LIC) closed 0.9 per cent lower at $8.06.

Looking at some more headlines:

Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (ASX:FMG) has entered into a $6 million Paterson Farm In and joint venture with gold and base metals explorer Carawine Resources (ASX:CWX).

Mayne Pharma Group Limited (ASX:MYX) announced the completion of the licensing and supply agreement for a novel oral contraceptive comprising Estetrol (E4) and drospirenone (E4/DRSP).

BSA Limited (ASX:BSA) has secured a $30M contract for the WestConnex M4-M5 Link.

DigitalX (ASX:DCC) has announced the establishment of its second asset management product – the DigitalX Bitcoin Fund.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector, and the only one in the green, was Information Technology adding 0.8 per cent while the worst performing sector was Utilities, shedding 1.3 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Bingo Industries (ASX:BIN), rising 10.7 per cent to close at $2.80. Shares in Appen (ASX:APX) and Pro Medicus (ASX:PME) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Mayne Pharma Group (ASX:MYX), dropping 6 per cent to close at 55 cents. Shares in Oricobre (ASX:ORE) and Netwealth Group (ASX:NWL) followed.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.9 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 1.8 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.2 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading higher at US$1,461 an ounce.
Iron ore price is 3.2 per cent higher at US$81.48.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.9 per cent.
Light crude is 16 cents lower at US$56.64 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 68.44 US cents.