The Australian share market failed to rise into positive territory today closing 0.4 per cent lower. Nearmap (ASX:NEA) shares are on the rise as are Appen (ASX:APX). Shares in National Storage REIT (ASX:NSR) are down – they completed their $300 million institutional placement today. The Australian dollar has risen. As for the sectors, utilities are up and financials down.
The S&P/ASX200 index
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 23 points lower to finish at 5,385.
Dow futures are suggesting a rise 123 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 18 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a lift of 52 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 27 point fall for tomorrow morning.
Local economic news
Retail sales rose by 8.5 per cent in March, up from the 0.6 per cent increase in February, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Panic buying ahead of COVID-19 lockdowns spurred a huge increase in consumer activity.
Goodman Group (ASX:GMG) today announced the appointment of Mark G. Johnson as an Independent Director of Goodman Limited and Goodman Funds Management Limited from 1 June 2020. Shares in the Goodman Group (ASX:GMG) closed flat at $13.60.
Bubs Australia (ASX:BUB) has entered a new supply agreement with Coles for their Bubs Organic Grass Fed Infant Formula. It will be distributed to 482 Coles supermarkets.
Digital health company ResApp Health (ASX:RAP) has received a set of final design files, reports and supporting documents for the handheld and wearable devices under development by Avanti Med and OSI Electronics.
Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) today announced that the first patients have been dosed in the 300-patient randomized placebo-controlled Phase 2/3 trial in the United States of Mesoblast’s remestemcel-L in COVID-19 infected patients.
Testing, inspection & certification business ALS (ASX:ALQ) reports less than 10 per cent of their global laboratory network has been adversely impacted by regional and national economic shutdowns due to COVID-19. They are also in the final stages of developing new real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test kits for detection of the COVID-19 virus in human and on surface samples.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Infotech adding 1.6 per cent while the worst performing sector was Financials, shedding 1.1 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Nearmap (ASX:NEA), rising 9.6 per cent to close at $1.66. Shares in McMillan Shakespeare (ASX:MMS) and Appen (ASX:APX) followed higher.
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was National Storage REIT (ASX:NSR), dropping 6.5 per cent to close at $1.58. Shares in NRW Holdings (ASX:NWH) and Cooper Energy (ASX:COE) followed lower.
Japan’s Nikkei was closed, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 1.1 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has added 0.2 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,705 an ounce.
Iron ore price is flat at US$84.04.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.9 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.28 down at US$26.21 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 64.47 US cents.