Overseas visitors continued decline - ABS: Aus shares close 0.8% lower

Market Reports

by Ortenzia Borre

The Australian share market opened slightly higher and closed 0.8 per cent down at the end of trade.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 49 points lower to finish at 5,859.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 173 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 24 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a rise of 109 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 55 point rise tomorrow morning.

Local economic news

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released annual overseas arrivals and departure figures for the month of July. Overseas visitor arrivals to Australia decreased 34.6 per cent month on month. Australian resident returns from overseas decreased 34.7 per cent month on month.

Looking at some more headlines:

Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) Chief Executive, Jean-Sebastien Jacques, has resigned after being embroiled in the Juukan Gorge blast scandal. Rio’s head of iron ore Chris Salisbury and head of corporate relations Simone Niven will also be departing.

The three executives resigned “by mutual agreement” after mounting community pressure and a board-led review of the destruction of Aboriginal sacred sites for a mine expansion.

The company previously announced that the executives responsible for the decision would have their bonuses cut, leading to widespread investor concern that the company was not taking the issue seriously. Shares in Rio Tinto closed 0.6 per cent lower at $99.86.

Mining and exploration company, IGO (ASX:IGO) has commenced a strategic review of its options in relation to its 30 per cent interest in the Tropicana gold mine.

Retail Food Group (ASX:RFG) has agreed to sell its subsidiary Dairy Country Pty Ltd, to Fonterra Brands for around $19.2 million.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Health Care adding 0.5 per cent while the worst performing sector was Information Technology shedding 2 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC), rising 5.9 per cent to close at 90 cents. Shares in Cromwell Property Group (ASX:CMW) and IPH (ASX:IPH) followed.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Nearmap (ASX:NEA), dropping 14.9 per cent to close at $2.46. Shares in Star Entertainment Group (ASX:SGR) and Sandfire Resources (ASX:SFR) followed lower.

Asian markets

All higher: Japan’s Nikkei has gained 0.7 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is up 0.6 per cent and the Shanghai Composite is 0.4 per cent up.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,944 an ounce.
Iron ore price lost 0.4 per cent to US$126.09.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.4 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.04 down at US$38.07 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 72.81 US cents.