Australia records largest ever travel decrease - ABS: Aus shares close 2.2% lower

Market Reports

by Ortenzia Borre

The Australian share market fell at the open and continued to fall throughout the day closing 2.2 per cent down at the end of trade. Healius (ASX:HLS) led the top 200 gains at for the session, rising almost 20 per cent, and Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) led the losses for the day, down almost 15 per cent.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 128 points lower to finish at 5,720.
Futures market are proving to be softer
Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 858 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 83 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a fall of 216 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 91 point fall tomorrow morning.

Local economic news

According to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics today Australia has recorded its largest ever decrease in overseas travel in April with the number of Australians returning home after a short-term trip down over 98 per cent on the same time last year. Short-term visitor arrivals fell 99.7 per cent compares to April 2019.

Broker moves

Citi has rated Westpac (ASX:WBC) as a Buy. The broker’s analysts believe governments and the RBA have effectively postponed the first credit event which was ready to take place in March, but is now likely to materialise later this calendar year. Citi also believes that after lockdown restrictions ease, the current status will change and is likely to benefit banks over their smaller and regional competitors. Shares in Westpac (ASX:WBC) closed 2.9 per cent lower at $17.38.

Looking at some more headlines: 

The Board of construction materials supplier, Boral (ASX:BLD) has appointed Zlatko Todorcevski as CEO and managing director to replace Mike Kane. The $1.9 million appointment will be effective from 1 July 2020 allowing for a 3-month handover.

Super Retail Group (ASX:SUL) set to raise $203 million. The company says the proceeds will be used to pursue strategic growth initiatives in light of the Covid pandemic.The raising follows a 26.2 per cent decline in sales in April compared to the April 2019.

RedBird Capital Partners is set to acquire a 24.2 per cent interest in Ardent Leisure Group's (ASX:ALG) Main Event Entertainment. 

Best and worst performers of the day

All sectors finished in the red. The sector with the fewest losses was Utilities, losing 1.3 per cent while the worst performing sector was Energy shedding 3.4 per cent. 

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Healius (ASX:HLS), rising 19 per cent to close at $3.01. Shares in Monadelphous Group (ASX:MND) and Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals (ASX:CUV) followed.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS), dropping 14.5 per cent to close at $0.27 cents. Shares in Corporate Travel Management (ASX:CTD) and Orocobre (ASX:ORE) followed lower. 

Asian markets
All lower: Japan’s Nikkei has lost 3.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 2 per cent and the Shanghai Composite is 0.9 per cent down.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,720 an ounce.
Iron ore price added 1.2 per cent to US$105.02.
Iron ore futures are flat.
Light crude is US$1.61 down at US$35.17 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 67.88 US cents.

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