Qantas shares lose 6.4%: ASX closes flat

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market managed to gain momentum today and pull itself up to close flat. WiseTech Global (ASX:WTC) shares surged after reaffirming their guidance today. Qantas (ASX:QAN) shares dropped over 6 per cent. As for the sectors today Utilities did well and Materials came bottom of the pile.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 0.1 points lower to finish at 5,221

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 104 points
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 16 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a lift of 57 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 2 point rise tomorrow morning.

Local economic news

Australian retail turnover rose 8.2 per cent in March 2020, seasonally adjusted, according to preliminary retail trade figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). These figures indicate unprecedented demand in March in the Food retailing industry, with strong sales across supermarkets, liquor retailing and other specialised food.

Company news

Myer (ASX:MYR) has taken the decision to extend the period of temporary closure of all physical stores until at least 11 May 2020. Unfortunately, as a result of the extension to the closure period, the majority of team members will remain stood down during this period. The online business, which is available to customers 24/7, has performed strongly since the physical stores were closed on 29 March 2020. Shares in Myer (ASX:MYR) closed 5.6 per cent higher at $0.19.

Orocobre (ASX:ORE) released their quarterly report today showing production from the Olaroz Lithium Facility was down 11% on the previous corresponding period (PCP) due to the temporary plant shut down. The Argentine government imposed COVID-19 quarantine restrictions, which in addition to planned maintenance resulted in 21 days of lost production.

WiseTech Global (ASX:WTC) today reaffirmed FY20 guidance , subject to currency movements with revenue of $420 million - $450 million.

Ramsay Health Care (ASX:RHC) today announced that it is raising $1.2 billion through an institutional placement, taking decisive action to enhance its financial flexibility.

And Virtus Health (ASX:VRT) supports today’s decision by the Australian Federal Government to lift the suspension on elective surgery, including Assisted Reproductive Services. The company has also introduced COVID-19 testing for patients.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Utilities adding 1.4 per cent while the worst performing sector was Materials, shedding 2 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Wisetech Global (ASX:WTC) rising 16.8 per cent to $16.09, followed by shares in Pinnacle Investment Management Group (ASX:PNI) and Avita Medical (ASX:AVH).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Southern Cross Media Group (ASX:SXL) dropping 8.3 per cent to $0.11, followed by shares in Qantas Airways (ASX:QAN) and NRW Holdings (ASX:NWH).

Asian markets

Mixed: Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.8 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has gained 0.02 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.4 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,685 an ounce.
Iron ore price is 3.5 per cent down at US$84.37.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.3 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.61 down at US$10.96 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 63.31 US cents.