Bega (ASX:BGA) shares rise on update: ASX closed 0.5% lower

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market fell at the open failing to gain momentum closing 0.5 per cent lower. Bega (ASX:BGA) shares shot up today after the company released an update.. more on this later. Jumbo Interactive (ASX:JIN) share price continues to fall after the release last week of underwhelming guidance for the first half of FY 2020.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 31points lower to finish at 6,785.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 10 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 2 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a lift of 8 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 42 point fall tomorrow morning.

Broker moves

Citi has downgraded Event Hospitality and Entertainment (ASX:EVT) from a Buy to a Neutral lowering its target to $14.40 from $15.05. Citi suspects "sequel fatigue" may have set in, given the latest Star Wars offering is not enjoying the same box office success pre-Christmas as has previously been the case. Shares in Event Hospitality and Entertainment (ASX:EVT) are 1.1 per cent higher at $13.51.

Company news

Bega Cheese (ASX:BGA) Executive Chairman Barry Irvin has completed his chemotherapy with positive results and plans to head back to work in the new year.  He will chair the Board meeting scheduled for 29 January 2020. The construction of a new lactoferrin facility at Koroit is on schedule to be commissioned in April 2020 and fully operational for FY2021. The company says it has been a particularly challenging period for the dairy industry but they are well placed to execute its long-term.Shares in Bega closed 4.4 per cent higher at $4.29.

Macquarie Telecom Group (ASX:MAQ) has entered into an agreement with the Australian Taxation Office to provide Secure Internet Gateway (SIG) and cyber security services estimated to be worth approximately $20 million. The deal is for an initial 3-year term.

Caltex Australia (ASX:CTX) has received a termination notice from Chevron Corporation regarding its current licence agreement for use of the Caltex brand in Australia. They will continue with plans to transition to the company-owned Ampol brand.

The Vocus Group (ASX:VOC) has reached an agreement to settle the class action commenced against it in April 2019 in the Federal Court of Australia. The settlement amount is $35 million.

Best and worst performers 

The best performing sector was Consumer staples adding 0.5 per cent while the worst performing sector was Materials, shedding 1.1 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Bega Cheese (ASX:BGA), (rising 4.4 per cent to close at $4.29. Shares in Invocare (ASX:IVC) and Xero (ASX:XRO) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Jumbo Interactive (ASX:JIN), dropping 6.9 per cent to close at $14.65. Shares in Nearmap (ASX:NEA) and Orocobre (ASX:ORE) followed lower.

Asian markets

Mixed: Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is flat and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.5 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,481 an ounce.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a lift of 0.3 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.74 up at US$60.44 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 69.08 US cents.