Coronavirus stimulus package includes $750 cash payments: ASX closed 7.4% lower

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market closed 7.4 per cent lower - its lowest level since November 2016. Travel companies saw huge losses with Webjet (ASX:WEB) and Flight Centre Travel Group (ASX:FLT) shares dropping today. Auckland Airport has entered a trading halt. US President Donald Trump put restrictions on all travel to the US from Europe except the UK. Prime Minister Scott Morrison released a $17.6 billion coronavirus stimulus package. More than six million Aussies will get cash payments of $750 as part of the recovery plan.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 421 points lower to finish at 5,305.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 756 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a fall of 96 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing afall of 306 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 409 point fall tomorrow morning.

Company news

Ramsay Professional Services (ASX:RHC) and Remedy Healthcare Group have entered into a joint venture to deliver hospital-in-the-home services. This will be operated via Ramsay Connect. Remedy Healthcare is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Australian Unity. AUL originally created the Remedy Healthcare business to deliver more cost-effective ‘hospital-in-the-home’ services with the aim of relieving pressure in the health system. Shares in Ramsay Professional Services (ASX:RHC) closed 4.4 per cent lower at $58.48.

PointsBet Holdings (ASX:PBH) subsidiary, PointsBet USA Inc., has been appointed as the Official Betting Partner of LaLiga North America.

Caltex Australia (ASX:CTX) is monitoring the impacts from market responses to COVID-19 on regional refining margins, crude and product demand both globally and in Caltex’s markets (including Australian hydrocarbon demand). Australian jet fuel demand has been impacted by flight cancellations domestically and internationally.

Australian industrial scale metal additive manufacturing company Titomic (ASX:TTT) has signed a partnership agreement with US-based Ascent Aerospace to deliver Titomic’s Kinetic Fusion for Ascent’s associated aerospace customer base.

Best and worst performers 

The best-performing sector is Consumer Staples lost the least shedding 4.1 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Energy losing the most at 8.2 per cent lower.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is CIMIC Group (ASX:CIM) rising 2.2 per cent to $20.21, followed by shares in Pro Medicus (ASX:PME) and Beach Energy (ASX:BPT).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Pilbara Minerals dropping 20 per cent to $0.16, followed by shares in Webjet (ASX:WEB) and Flight Centre Travel Group (ASX:FLT)

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 3.7per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 3.4 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 1.5 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,635 an ounce.
Iron ore price has lost 2.2 per cent US$90.05.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 0.6 per cent.
Light crude is US$1.58 down at US$31.40 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 64.56 US cents.