Insurance Australia (ASX:IAG) takes hit on update: Aus shares close flat

Market Reports

by Ortenzia Borre

The Australian share market rose at the open although closed flat for the end of the week. Downer (ASX:DOW) and Cimic (ASX:CIM) led the gains for the day after plummeting yesterday and shares in Insurance Australia (ASX:IAG) continued to tumble, following the insurer’s warning to shareholders they’ve received 28,000 claims of home and vehicle damage from the recent hailstorms, in addition to previous bushfire claims.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed flat at 7,091.

Over the week it added 0.4 per cent or 26 points.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a lift of 39 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 3 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a lift of 20 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 1 point rise Monday morning.

Broker Moves

Citi has rated The Star Entertainment Group (ASX:SGR) as a Sell. The broker remains cautious on the outlook for the Australian casino industry and on a three year horizon, the analysts are willing to call out "value" for investors willing to be patient, and take a three year view beyond the current poor free cash flow environment.
Star Entertainment is the least preferred, with the brokers favouring Crown Resorts, which is expressed through the Sell rating and $4.20 price target, down from $4.30. Shares in The Star Entertainment Group (ASX:SGR) closed 0.2 per cent lower at $4.39.

Looking at some more headlines:

Village Roadshow (ASX:VRL) has received a second take-over bid, this time from BGH Capital. The cinema and theme park operator received a similar proposal from a different private equity firm last month.

Domain Holdings Australia (ASX:DHG) appoints Nine Network CEO Hugh Marks to their board.

Phoslock Environmental Technologies (ASX:PET) issues an update on their projects and personnel surrounding the current Coronavirus saying further applications scheduled from April will be subject to local conditions.

Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) says they’ve completed a definitive feasibility study (DFS) on the Mt Holland lithium project although a final investment decision has been deferred.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Healthcare adding 0.7 per cent while the worst performing sector was Materials, shedding 0.9 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Downer (ASX:DOW), rising 6 per cent to $7.60, followed by shares in Netwealth Group (ASX:NWL) and Pinnacle Investment Management (ASX:PNI).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Insurance Australia Group (ASX:IAG) falling 5.4 per cent to $7.30, followed by shares in Technology One (ASX:TNE) and Cooper Energy (ASX:COE) followed.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng also added 0.2 per cent and the Shanghai Composite is closed.

US Indices over the week

The Dow was 0.6 per cent lower, the S&P is 0.1 per cent lower and the NASDAQ is 0.1 per cent higher.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,561 an ounce. 
Iron ore price has lost 3.4 per cent to US$93.44
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 2.3 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.11 up at US$55.70 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 68.47 US cents.