Hospitality boost as NSW eases restictions: Aus shares close 0.96% lower

Market Reports

by Ortenzia Borre

The Australian share market rose at the open before falling by noon and continuing to drop closing 0.96 per cent down at the end of trade. Smartgroup Corporation (ASX:SIQ) led the top 200 gains for the session, up over 7 per cent, and NRW Holdings (ASX:NWH) led the losses for the day. In some good news finish off the week - NSW, it’s time wine and dine. Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced up to 50 patrons can be seated in pubs and restaurants across the state from June 1. This easing of restrictions will allow regional businesses and economies to fill their registers just in time for the long weekend. 

The S&P/ASX200 index
 
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 53 points lower to finish at 5,497. Over the week it closed 92 points higher.
 
Futures market
 
Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 148 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 18 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a fall of 59 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 46 point fall on Monday morning.
 
Broker moves
 
Citi rates Steadfast Group (ASX:SDF) as a Buy. The broker says it upgrades estimates for earnings per share by 7-8% following a strong month in April where there was no impact observed from the pandemic. Citi continues to allow for a slowing over May-June, given this is a key renewal period and relatively modest growth in premiums beyond FY20. Shares in Steadfast Group (ASX:SDF) closed 2.2 per cent lower at $3.15.
 
Looking at some more headlines:

Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) reports a total of $780m of writedowns.
 
Virgin Australia (ASX:VAH) administrators Deloitte have filed a Chapter 15 petition in New York to recognise administration proceedings for the struggling airline in Australia.

Air New Zealand (ASX:AIZ) Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran is reducing the size of his executive team from nine to six.

Best and worst performers of the day
 
The best performing sector was Information Technology which closed flat while the worst performing sector was Energy shedding 2.2 per cent.
 
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Smartgroup Corporation (ASX:SIQ), rising 7.6 per cent to close at $5.67. Shares in Corporate Travel Management (ASX:CTD) and Lynas Corporation (ASX:LYC) followed.
 
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was NRW Holdings (ASX:NWH), dropping 9.4 per cent to close at $1.99 cents. Shares in Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX:URW) and Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) followed lower.
 
Asian markets

 
Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.7 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng also lost 4.9 per cent and the Shanghai Composite is 1.7 per cent down.

Wall street

Over the past 4 trading days Wall Street closed higher.
The Dow closed 3.2 per cent higher.
The S&P 500 closed 2.9 per cent higher.
NASDAQ closed 2.9 per cent higher.
 
Commodities and the dollar
 
Gold is trading at US$1,732 an ounce. 
Iron ore price added 1.4 per cent to US$98.26.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 1.3 per cent.
Light crude is US$1.53 down at US$34.17 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 65.38 US cents.