Afterpay (ASX:APT) a strong performer after releasing US figures: ASX closes 0.4% lower

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

After opening in the black the local bourse lost momentum to close 0.4 per cent lower. NRW Holdings (ASX:NWH) shares shot up today after reporting record revenue of $1.6 billion for 10 months and EBITDA of $177 million. Afterpay (ASX:APT) was a strong performer after releasing the numbers of their US consumers. As for the sectors, Energy led the day and Utilities fell lower.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 23 points lower to finish at 5,550.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 151 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 18 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a fall of 44 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 25point fall tomorrow.

Broker moves

Citi has downgraded Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) from a neutral to a sell, with a 12 month price target of $11.10. The broker forecasts FY20 and FY21 dividends of $1.45 and $0.88 per share, respectively. Shares in Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) closed 2.2 per cent lower at $13.60.

Company news

Insurance broking and underwriting company, the Steadfast Group (ASX:SDF) has chosen to release its unaudited April 2020 reports to keep investors across the company’s performance following the Board’s decision to withdraw its guidance. The Board says that overall, April 2020 EBITA is in line with its pre-COVID-19 expectations, and there has been no adverse impact on Steadfast’s working capital position. FY20 EBITA for the ten months to end of April remains strong, tracking 21.8 per cent ahead of the same period last year. Shares in Steadfast Group (ASX:SDF) closed 6.3 per cent higher at $3.22.

The underwritten Share Purchase Plan announced by Breville Group (ASX:BRG) on 13 May 2020 opened today.

Fonterra Co-operative's (ASX:FSF) profit has soared but the New Zealand forecast for the farmgate milk price range has narrowed showing uncertainty about global markets.

Shares in Buy Now, Pay Later” company Afterpay (ASX:APT) shot up today after reporting that almost nine million US consumers have joined the platform, that’s including more than one million new customers using the platform during the COVID- 19 period of the last ten weeks.

Australian gambling machine manufacturer, Aristocrat Leisure (ASX:ALL) for the six month to the end of March, saw normalised profit after tax and before amortisation of acquired intangibles at $368.1 million, down 13 per cent.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Energy adding 1.3 per cent while the worst performing sector was Utilities, shedding 1.8 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is NRW Holdings (ASX:NWH) rising 32.7 per cent to $2.19, followed by shares in Perenti Global (ASX:PRN) and Steadfast Group (ASX:SDF).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Service Stream (ASX:SSM) dropping 5.9 per cent to $2.07, followed by shares in Pendal Group (ASX:PDL) and Aristocrat Leisure (ASX:ALL).

Asian markets

lower: Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.3 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.2 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,739 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 1.6 per cent to US$98.36
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 1.6 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.66 up at US$35.89 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 65.62 US cents.