Frydenberg announces $22.4b cash deficit: Aus shares close 1.1 per cent down

Market Reports

by Ortenzia Borre

The Australian share market fell at the open and continued to drop, erasing Monday’s gains, closing 1.1 per cent down at the end of today’s trade. In breaking news, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has released an update on the economic impact of COVID-19 saying the underlying cash deficit at the end of March was $22.4 billion, almost $10 billion higher than the Government's mid year forecast in December. The federal budget will be delivered in October.

CSR (ASX:CSR), led the top 200 gains at for the session up over 10 per cent and Virgin Money UK (ASX:VUK), led the losses for the day.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 58 points down to finish at 5,403.

Futures market – all lower

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 176 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a fall of 21 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a dip of 32 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 75 point fall tomorrow morning.

Broker moves

Morgan Stanley has rated Scentre Group (ASX:SCG) as Overweight. Scentre Group has confirmed it will not pay a dividend in the first half but still intends to pay one in 2020. The broker notes rent relief discussions remain slow and the company retains a preference for negotiating once stores have re-opened and foot traffic returns. Scentre Group is targeting a 25% savings in centre-level operating expenditure during the pandemic, although Morgan Stanley notes 60% of costs are worn by the tenants anyway. Shares in Scentre Group (ASX:SCG) closed 3.5 per cent lower at $2.20.

Looking at some Company headlines from the day:

Regional Express Holdings (ASX:REX) has been placed into a trading halt following claims REX will invest $200m and launch flights between Australia's capital cities.

SkyCity Entertainment Group (ASX:SKC) is set to welcome back staff to their properties across New Zealand after the Government confirmed the country will be moving to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 this Thursday.

CEO and Managing Director of New Hope Corporation (ASX:NHC) Shane Stephan has announced his retirement for this August.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Health Care adding 1.5 per cent while the worst performing sector was Energy shedding 2.5 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was CSR (ASX:CSR), rising 10.1 per cent to close at $3.72. Shares in ResMed (ASX:RMD) and GUD Holdings (ASX:GUD) followed.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Virgin Money UK (ASX:VUK), dropping 9.4 per cent to close at $1.41 cents. Shares in Webjet (ASX:WEB) and Corporate Travel Management (ASX:CTD) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei is up 0.04 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 1.5 per cent and the Shanghai Composite is 0.2 per cent down.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,700 an ounce.
Iron ore price is flat at US$88.61.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.3 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.24 up at US$25.32 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 64.62 US cents.