NZ PM takes pay cut: Aus shares close 0.3% lower

Market Reports

by Ortenzia Borre

The Australian share market rose at the open before falling by noon and continuing to drop closing 0.3 per cent down at the end of trade.

The Government has announced plans to issue new November 2024 bonds totaling $13 billion. The total amount has surpassed a previous record of $11 million.

In breaking international economic news, US President Donald Trump will stop funding to the World Health Organisation, saying it has failed to contain the spread of COVID-19 as global cases just reach below 2 million. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern along with her entire ministry will take a 20 per cent pay cut as the pandemic continues to drown the global economy.

Ingenia (ASX:INA), led the top 200 gains at for the session closing almost 9 per cent up and Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX:URW) led the losses for the day.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 21 points lower to finish at 5,467.

Futures market are all in the red

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 163 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 24 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a fall of 75 points.
The ASX200 futures are eyeing a 25 point fall tomorrow morning.

Local economic news 

The ABS has released figures for building and construction activity for December 2019.

It's reported that the estimated value of total building work done fell 2.1% in the December quarter, with the value of new residential building work done falling 4.3% in the same quarter.

Broker moves

Ord Minnett has downgraded Coca-Cola Amatil (ASX:CCL) to a hold from accumulate. The broker says it reviews its investment thesis for Coca-Cola Amatil in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic and resultant social distancing, amid reduced tourism and weaker consumer activity. Ord Minnett estimates are reduced by 19% for FY20 and 14% for FY21, saying the potential for cost savings is unclear, given previous cost-saving initiatives. Despite the recent decline in the share price, the broker assesses valuation support has been removed and the rating is downgraded to Hold from Accumulate. Target is lowered to $9.00 from $12.50. Shares in Coca-Cola Amatil (ASX:CCL) closed 1.4 per cent lower at $9.42.

Looking at some more company news headlines:

The Orocobre (ASX:ORE) acquisition of Canadian lithium developer Advantage Lithium is given approval for the takeover by Advantage shareholders.

Lynas Corporation's (ASX:LYC) Malaysian plant continues to be halted pending government approval

Wisr (ASX:WZR) has hit a company milestone, recording over $200 million in loan originations.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Consumer Discretionary adding 0.4 per cent while the worst performing sector was Energy shedding 3.1 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Ingenia (ASX:INA), rising 8.8 per cent to close at $3.33. Shares in Mayne Pharma Group (ASX:MYX) and EML Payments (ASX:EML) followed.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX:URW), dropping 9.2 per cent to close at $5.03 cents. Shares in Corporate Travel Management (ASX:CTD) and Jumbo Interactive (ASX:JIN) followed lower.

Asian markets

All are in the red: Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.5 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng also lost 0.6 per cent and the Shanghai Composite is 0.4 per cent down.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,719 an ounce.
Iron ore price added 1.7 per cent to US$87.02.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.6 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.05 down at US$27.35 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 63.77 US cents.