The Australian share market had a positive start to the session, up almost 3 per cent at noon, then fell sharply in the second half of trade erasing the days gain to finish 2 per cent down.
The S&P/ASX200 index
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 105 points lower to finish at 5,707.
Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 119 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 15 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a fall of 30 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 110 point fall tomorrow morning.
Citi has upgraded Ansell (ASX:ANN) from Neutral to a Buy. The broker observes there is little risk on the balance sheet, given significant liquidity and positive operating cash flow and notes Ansell also continues to buy back shares. While the coronavirus has increased demand for surgical gloves and protective health equipment, it has had negative impact on the demand for industrial gloves, given manufacturing shut-downs. Citi finds the net impact impossible to predict at this stage but upgrades to Buy from Neutral. Target is raised to $34.50 from $32.00. Shares in Ansell (ASX:ANN) closed 6.3 per cent lower at $27.19.
St Barbara’s (ASX:SBM) three operations in Australia, Canada and PNG have been able to maintain operations, production and gold shipments despite the suspension of exploration. The company says they remain in close contact with government authorities during the current COVID-19 crisis and their fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) workforce remains in operation at Leonora. St Barbara says it’s in a sound financial position, with all three operations continuing to generate positive net cash flows, and internal financial modelling indicating the Company can readily withstand a prolonged hiatus in production across all operations. Shares in St Barbara (ASX:SBM) closed 6.2 per cent lower at $2.13.
Looking at some more headlines:
Virgin Australia (ASX:VAH) entered into a trading halt pending a further announcement to the ASX. It comes as the airline said it’s seeking financial support from the Federal Government to survive the fallout from the COVID-19 crisis.
Worley (ASX:WOR) wins two-year contract extension from Chevron.
Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) today announced that trades have been executed for the sale of 5.2 per cent of the issued capital in Coles Group (ASX:COL) for $1.06 billion.
Cashwerkz (ASX:CWZ) appoints Mr Jon Lechte to the position of Chief Executive Officer commencing tomorrow.
Best and worst performers of the day
The best performing sector was A-REIT adding 2.8 per cent while the worst performing sector was Consumer Staples shedding 5.9 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Credit Corp Group (ASX:CCP), rising 25.5 per cent to close at $13.69. Shares in EML Payments (ASX:EML) and G8 Education (ASX:GEM) followed.
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG), dropping 12.4 per cent to close at 81 cents. Shares in Aurizon (Horizon) Holdings (ASX:AZJ) and Unibail-Rodamco Westfield (ASX:URW) followed lower.
Mixed: Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.8 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.3 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.1 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,616 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 3.9 per cent to US$82.98.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.1 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.79 up at US$34.37 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 61.81 US cents.