SeaLink (ASX:SLK) extends contracts: Aus shares close 1.7% down

Market Reports

by Ortenzia Borre

The Australian share market had a positive start to the session before trading flat at noon then falling sharply in the second half of trade erasing the days gains to finish 1.7 per cent down.

Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) led the top 200 gains at midday and AP Eagers (ASX:APE) led the losses for the day.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 87 points lower to finish at 5,068.

Futures market - all are in the red

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 311 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 42 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a fall of 112 points.
The ASX200 futures are eyeing a 109 point fall on Monday morning.

Broker moves

UBS has rated Mirvac Group (ASX:MGR) as a Buy. UBS revises earnings estimates to reflect the uncertainty around the current crisis. The company is in a strong position to outperform, with low gearing and the weighting to office/industrial, in the broker's view. Moreover, the residential division is well diversified. However, increasing unemployment is expected to impact on residential sales, although this may allow larger operators to increase their market share materially and acquire sites on attractive terms. Buy rating maintained. Target is reduced to $2.80 from $3.49. Shares in Mirvac Group (ASX:MGR) closed 6.1 per cent lower at $1.99.

Company news

SeaLink (ASX:SLK) has extended their bus contracts with the Western Australian Government Public Transport Authority. SeaLink subsidiary companies have agreed a simple extension of the term of the bus services contracts for the Canning and Southern River areas, for a further four years and five months, from mid- April 2020 to September 2024. Shares in SeaLink Travel Group (ASX:SLK) closed 0.3 per cent lower at $3.04.

Looking at some more headlines:

Data centre operator NEXTDC (ASX:NXT) has successfully completed an institutional placement, raising approximately $672 million through the issue of 86.1 million new shares.

Treasury Wine Estates (ASX:TWE) been served with a group proceeding filed against them in the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Information Technology company Hansen Technologies (ASX:HSN) has today withdrawn its earnings guidance for the 2020 financial year.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Materials adding 0.7 per cent while the worst performing sector was Industrials shedding 4.6 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG), rising 5.7 per cent to close at $10.56. Shares in NRW Holdings (ASX:NWH) and Treasury Wine Estates (ASX:TWE) followed.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was AP Eagers (ASX:APE), dropping 12.5 per cent to close at $3.51 cents. Shares in Skycity Entertainment Group (ASX:SKC) and Downer EDI (ASX:DOW) followed lower.

Asian markets

All lower: Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.6 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng also lost 0.8 per cent and the Shanghai Composite is 0.6 per cent down.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,614 an ounce.
Iron ore price added 1.5 per cent to US$83.72.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.5 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.83 down at US$32.22 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 60.74 US cents.