Gold miners lead gains: Aus shares close flat

Market Reports

by Ortenzia Borre

After dropping at the open the Australian share market recovered throughout the day closing flat at the end of trade. Gold miners were the best performers with Evolution Mining and Newcrest leading the gains on the back of the recent US/Iran tensions. Bega took the biggest hit following its update on the bushfires in and around Bega Valley despite the company stating its sites remain fully operational. The big four banks also weighed heavily on today’s market.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 2 points higher to finish at 6,736.

Futures market

Dow futures are eyeing a fall of 73 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 9 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a fall of 27 points.
The ASX200 futures are eyeing a 13 point rise tomorrow morning.

Company news

South32 (ASX:S32) has announced the passing of Non-Executive Director Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi following a short illness. Xolani joined the board of South32  in July 2015, shortly after the company’s formation, following a distinguished executive career, including with BHP Billiton where he served as Chairman of BHP Billiton South Africa. Shares in South32 (ASX:S32) closed 1.9 per cent higher at $2.72.

Looking at some more headlines:

PointsBet Holdings (ASX:PBH) has secured an exclusive 20-year agreement with Lac Vieux Desert Public Enterprise and Finance Commission (LVD) for an online betting deal in Michigan.

Work on Cooper Energy’s (ASX:COE) Sole Gas Project in East Gippsland has been delayed by two weeks following bushfire activity in the area.

Lucapa Diamond Company (ASX:LOM) has delivered a record in diamond production. The company said while 2019 was a challenging year for all diamond producers in respect of sales prices, the year ended on a more positive note with a turnaround in mid-stream demand and prices.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Energy adding 1.3 per cent while the worst performing sector was Financials, shedding 0.6 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN), rising 6.8 per cent to close at $3.92. Shares in Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) and St Barbara (ASX:SBM) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Bega (ASX:BGA), dropping 9.3 per cent to close at $3.92. Shares in Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) and Hub24 (ASX:HUB) followed lower.

Asian markets

Mixed: Japan’s Nikkei has lost 1.8 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 0.5 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.7 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,577 an ounce.
Iron ore price is higher at US$94.60.
Iron ore futures are flat.
Light crude is US$1.87 up at US$63.05 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 69.39 US cents.