S&P lowers Australia AAA credit rating to negative: ASX closed 0.9% lower

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market dropped at the open and struggled to gain momentum closing 0.9 per cent lower. Shares in Oil Search (ASX:OSH) have declined after they reported raising $1.1 billion to ride out global price turmoil. As for the sectors today Real Estate Investment Trust while the worst performing sector was Financials as S&P Global Ratings revises Australia's AAA credit rating outlook to "negative".

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 45 points lower to finish at 5,207.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 88 points
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a lift of 2.5 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a lift of 19 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 67 point dip tomorrow morning.

Local economic news

The value of new loan commitments for housing fell 1.7 per cent in February, seasonally adjusted, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures.

Company news

Next Science’s (ASX:NXS) Hospital Cleaner Surface Disinfectant has been accepted for registration for inclusion on the product labelling of a Claim for effectiveness against biofilm. The notification comes from the US Environmental Protection Agency. Next Science is one of only 3 companies who have been awarded that Claim at this time. It’s also the only EPA approved product with a biofilm Claim that is non-toxic to humans with safety glasses the only required form of personal protection equipment (PPE). Negotiations with potential partners for commercialisation of the Surface Disinfectant are continuing. Shares in Next Science (ASX:NXS) 36.3 per cent higher at $1.64.

Fintech company Zip Co (ASX: Z1P) is pleased to report for the quarter ended 31 March 2020 (Q3 FY20) they delivered a strong set of quarterly numbers against a backdrop of economic uncertainty generating $45 million in revenue over the quarter, which was 96 per cent higher than the same period in 2019.

Implantable hearing solutions company Cochlear (ASX:COH) has obtained US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for its Remote Check solution.

Best and worst performers 

The best performing sector was Real Estate Investment Trust adding 3.1 per cent while the worst performing sector was Financials, shedding 2.8 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Virgin Money UK (ASX:VUK) rising 12.5 per cent to close at $1.44. Shares in Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX:URW) and Vicinty Centres (ASX:VCX) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Jumbo Interactive (ASX:JIN) dropping 8.1 per cent to close at $10.30. Shares in Shopping Centres Australasia Property Group (ASX:SCP) and Afterpay Touch Group (ASX:APT) followed lower.

Asian markets

Mixed: Japan’s Nikkei has added 2.1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 1.3 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.3 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,647 an ounce.
Iron ore price has lost 0.7 per cent at US$82.73.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 2.99 per cent.
Light crude is US$1.06 up at US$24.69 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 61.28 US cents.