IAG leads drop: Aus shares close 1.2% lower

Market Reports

by Kathy Skantzos

The S&P/ASX200 index

The Australian share market declined today to close 1.2 per cent, or 71 points, lower, to finish at 6,024. Over this week, the market closed 0.2 per cent, or 10 points, lower.

Information Technology dropped the most, while Utilities gained.

Insurance Australia Group, IAG (ASX:IAG), led the drop on the news that it scrapped its dividend after flagging flat growth in gross written premiums ahead of its full-year results.

Gold mines dropped overall today, with Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) falling behind despite its underground gold mine progressing.

Futures market

The US futures are all lower.
Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 129 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a fall of 15 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a dip of 72 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 79 point fall on Monday morning.

Local economic news

The ABS announced a jump in export growth on the back off strong iron ore exports, with the value of exports increasing by $2.35 billion, or 8 per cent.
Iron ore exports increased to $9.92 billion, which is the highest export value on record.

Company news

BlackWall Property Trust (ASX:BWR) announced it will acquire WOTSO Workspace, taking its gross assets to almost $400 million. The decision replaces the previous strategy to undertake a standalone IPO of the WOTSO business. Shares in BlackWall Property Trust (ASX:BWR) closed flat at $1.38.

Insurance Australia Group, IAG (ASX:IAG), has flagged flat growth in gross written premiums of 1.1 per cent, and its insurance margin will be lower than forecast, ahead of its full-year results.

Vicinity Centres (ASX:VCX), which operates its flagship Chadstone shopping centre in Melbourne, announced a fall of 11.3 per cent in its portfolio net value in the six months to June 30, reducing its portfolio’s value by $1.79 billion to $14.1 billion.

Cleaning product manufacturer Pental (ASX:PTL), the maker of White King bleach, will pay a one-off special dividend to shareholders after a surge in demand for its cleaning products due to Covid-19.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Utilities adding 0.8 per cent while the worst performing sector was Information Technology, shedding 2.1 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was IGO (ASX:IGO), rising 4.8 per cent to close at $5.42. Shares in TPG (ASX:TPG) and Avita Therapeutics (ASX:MMS) followed.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was IAG (ASX:IAG), dropping 7.8 per cent to close at $5.32. Shares in Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) and Megaport (ASX:MP1) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei is closed.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 2.3 per cent.
Shanghai Composite has lost 3.4 per cent.

Wall Street

Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.1 per cent lower.
S&P 500 Index closed 0.3 per cent higher.
Nasdaq Composite closed 0.4 per cent lower.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,890 an ounce.
Iron ore price is 0.7 down at US$110.12.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 2.2 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.04 lower at US$41.03 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 70.96US cents.

Look out for details about this month’s Investor Event held on 28 July.