It has been a negative day of trade for the Australian share market closing 0.6 per cent lower. Shares shot up for National Storage REIT (ASX:NSR) after they confirmed they had received a takeover offer from private equity fund manager Gaw Capital Partners. CIMIC Group (ASX:CIM) shares dropped today after they announced they will exit the Middle East expecting to take a one-off charge of $1.8 billion. Shares in Downer EDI (ASX:DOW) also dipped today as they reduced their NPATA guidance for the 2020 financial year to $300 million. Shares in Webjet (ASX:WEB) and Afterpay (ASX:APT) are on the up. As for the sectors today Infotech led the day and Industrials fell lower.
The S&P/ASX200 index
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 45 points lower to finish at 7,088.
Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 49 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 6 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a fall of 15 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 54 point dip for tomorrow morning.
Local economic news
Australia's trend unemployment rate decreased to 5.1 per cent in December 2019, its lowest level since April 2019, that’s according to the latest information released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.
Telix Pharmaceuticals (ASX:TLX) reports that the US Food and Drug Administration has approved the ZIRCON study for recruitment of American patients. The Zirconium Imaging in Renal Cancer Oncology is an international Phase III study to evaluate the utility of TLX250-CDx for the imaging of clear cell renal cell cancer using Positron Emission Tomography (PET). The study aims to recruit approximately 250 patients and is currently recruiting at 19 sites in Australia and Europe. Shares in Telix Pharmaceuticals (ASX:TLX) closed 3.5 per cent higher at $1.50.
The Johns Lyng Group (ASX:JLG) has upgraded their revenue and EBITDA forecast for FY20. Forecast revenue is $420 million – a 5 per cent increase on guidance provided during the FY19 reporting period, while forecast EBITDA has been upgraded to $32 million, an 11 per cent increase on earlier guidance. Shares in the Johns Lyng Group (ASX:JLG) closed 6.3 per cent higher at $2.55.
The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) says class action proceedings have been filed by Shine Lawyers against Colonial First State Investments, a subsidiary of CBA. The proceedings have also been brought against The Colonial Mutual Life Assurance Society, the key life insurance entity of CommInsure Life. They are reviewing the claim.
Lithium Australia (ASX:LIT) subsidiary VSPC has successfully in obtaining a co-funded grant from the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre. VSPC and its partners will further develop VSPC’s technology, with a specific focus on the utilisation of lower-cost and recycled raw materials for the manufacture of lithium-ferro-phosphate cathode material.
The Westpac Group (ASX:WBC) today welcomes John McFarlane to the Westpac Board as Non-Executive Director and Chairman-Elect. He succeeds Lindsay Maxsted on 2 April 2020.
Happy Valley Nutrition (ASX:HVM) started trading today it issued at 20 cents opened at 19 cents and closed at 15 cents. Happy Valley Nutrition (ASX:HVM) is the development of a vertically integrated nutritional grade milk processing plant in New Zealand.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Infotech adding 0.3 per cent while the worst performing sector was Industrials, shedding 1.8 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was National Storage REIT (ASX:NSR), rising 6.3 per cent to close at $2.19. Shares in Webjet (ASX:WEB) and Afterpay Touch Group (ASX:APT) followed higher.
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was CIMIC Group (ASX:CIM), dropping 19.9 per cent to close at $28.03. Shares in Downer EDI (ASX:DOW) and Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) followed lower.
Lower: Japan’s Nikkei lost 0.9 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 1.9 per cent and the Shanghai Composite is 2.1 per cent lower.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,560 an ounce.
Iron ore price has lost 0.1 per cent at US$97.68.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 0.5 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.66 down at US$56.08 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 68.60 US cents.