We began the day on the back foot after US benchmarks finished lower thanks to a selloff in tech stocks. This negative sentiment infected the Australian market and we experienced a sense of déjà vu. The Australian share market plunged in early trade, dragged down by Aussie tech stocks and tracked sideways for most of the day to finish 3.1 per cent lower. Tech stocks shed 5.6 per cent today and every sector lost 1.7 per cent or more. Meanwhile, iron ore continues to trade at 6-year highs.
The S&P/ASX200 index
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 187 points lower to finish at 5,926.
Over the week, the market has lost 148 points or 2.5 per cent.
Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 44 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 12 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a fall of 129 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 200 point fall on Monday morning.
Retail trade figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics today show that retail turnover rose 3.2 per cent in July 2020 (seasonally adjusted) meeting the market’s expectations. This follows a 2.7 per cent rise in June. Retail trade in July 2020 was 12 per cent higher than the retail sales achieved in July 2019. Sales in the household goods category were particularly strong - 29.4 per cent above the same month last year. Online sales made up 9.8 per cent of total retail turnover.
Macquarie expects vehicle leasing and salary packaging company, Eclipx Group (ASX:ECX) to outperform, assigning it a 12 month price target of $1.70. The broker believes the company’s simplification process is largely complete. All non-core units have been divested. The operating expenses have now been reduced and the focus is on the fleet business. Shares in Eclipx Group (ASX:ECX) closed 0.7 per cent lower at $1.48.
Electricity generator and retailer, Mercury NZ (ASX:MCY) has closed its green bonds offer. $200 million of green bonds have been allocated to the participants in the bookbuild process and the issue margin for the green bonds has been set at 1.25 per cent per annum.
WAM Capital (ASX:WAM) has made an off-market takeover offer for rival listed investment company Concentrated Leaders Fund (ASX:CLF).
Sky Network Television (ASX:SKT) is on the hunt for a new CFO after Blair Woodbury vacated the position.
The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) has announced that one of its formerly owned subsidiaries, Count Financial, has been hit with a class action lawsuit in the Federal Court of Australia. CBA sold the business last October but has agreed to support and manage customer remediation matters arising from past issues, including through the provision of a $300 million indemnity.
Best and worst performers of the day
The sector with the fewest losses was Utilities, sheddig 1.7 per cent, while the worst-performing sector was Information Technology, shedding 5.6 per cent.
The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was SkyCity Entertainment Group (ASX:SKC), rising 3.6 per cent to close at $2.57. Shares in Corporate Travel Management (ASX:CTD) and the Star Entertainment Group (ASX:SGR) followed.
The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was WiseTech Global (ASX:WTC), dropping 7.3 per cent to close at $27.53. Shares in Appen (ASX:APX) and Nextdc (ASX:NXT) followed.
Lower. Japan’s Nikkei has lost 1.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 1.5 per cent, and the Shanghai Composite has lost 1.2 per cent.
Wrapped up our four trading days this week lower: The Dow Jones lost 1.3 per cent, The S&P 500 lost 1.5 per cent and the Nasdaq lost 2.1 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,934 an ounce.
Iron ore price added 2.1 per cent to US$129.92.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 1.2 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.30 down at US$41.81 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 72.71 US cents.