Inghams (ASX:ING) plant closed after Covid outbreak: ASX closes 1.3% lower

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

It has been a negative day of trade for the Australian share market with the local bourse failing to gain momentum and closing 1.3 per cent lower. Shares in Inghams dropped after reports their Victoria processing plant is in the middle of a Covid outbreak. More on this later. Shares in Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG) did well today after reporting a 64 per cent increase in Syama Underground gold. Meanwhile shares in Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) closed almost 7 per cent lower. As for the sectors today Energy led the day as the only sector in the green, and Health Care fell lower.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 81 points lower to finish at 6,075.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 41 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 2 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a rise of 8 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 100 point fall tomorrow morning.

Local economic news

Retail turnover rose 2.4 per cent in June led by an increased activity in cafes, restaurants and takeaway services, according to preliminary retail trade figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Company news

Inghams Group (ASX:ING) has temporarily closed its Thomastown Further Processing Plant in Victoria after five employees returned positive test results for Covid-19. The site has today been temporarily closed with all employees requested to self-isolate at home. Ingham’s has been working with the Victorian Department of Health to ensure all appropriate protocols are in place. Contingency plans for plant closures have been in place for a number of months. Ingham’s other sites across Australia remain in operation. The temporary closure of the Thomastown plant is not expected to materially impact the business results of Ingham’s Group for FY2021. Shares in Inghams Group (ASX:ING) 4.8 per cent lower at $3.37.

Insurance group QBE (ASX:QBE) has flagged a $750 million net statutory loss after tax for the first half of the year (1H20) primarily due to Covid.

Baby Bunting Group (ASX:BBN) report total sales of approximately $405 million for financial year 2020, representing growth of around 12 per cent against the prior corresponding period.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Energy adding 0.6 per cent while the worst performing sector was Healthcare, shedding 3.2 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG) rising 12.9 per cent to $1.40, followed by shares in Challenger (ASX:CGF) and Beach Energy (ASX:BPT)

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) dropping 6.8 per cent to $3.45, followed by shares in Pro medicus (ASX:PME) and Polynovo (ASX:PNV).

Asian markets

Mixed: Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.5 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.4 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.7 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,860 an ounce.
Iron ore price is 1.7 per cent higher at US$111.43.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 2.5 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.24 lower at US$41.68 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.50US cents.