Information technology leads the sectors: ASX closes flat

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market saw a lift at the open but then dipped around lunchtime closing flat. Shares in mining contractors NRW (ASX:NRH) did well today after they updated the ASX on Gascoyne Resources litigation. More on this later. Shares in Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) also did well today but the A2 Milk company (ASX:A2M) didn’t fare so well. As for the sectors today Information Technology closed high and Utilities closed lower.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed flat to finish at 5,952.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 87 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a lift of 7 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a rise of 15 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 4 point fall tomorrow morning.

Company news

On 6 August 2020 NRW (ASX:NRH) announced that legal proceedings had started by Habrok against Gascoyne Resources in the Federal Court. The subject matter of those proceedings related to the deed of company arrangement approved by creditors of Gascoyne on 26 June 2020 with Habrok seeking orders to the effect that the Gascoyne Deed of Company Arrangement be terminated and the company be placed into liquidation. Whilst NRW was not a party to these proceedings, they have agreed to participate in the recapitalisation proposal. NRW has been informed that this morning a judgment was handed down in legal proceedings dismissing Habrok’s claims. Accordingly, NRW understands Gascoyne intends to proceed with implementation of the Gascoyne Deed of Company Arrangement. Shares in NRW (ASX:NRH) closed 4.5 per cent higher at $2.11.

Corporate Travel Management (ASX:CTD) has entered into a binding agreement to acquire 100 per cent of Travel & Transport, Inc for $274.5 million. Travel & Transport is a leading US travel management company headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska.

Jervois Mining (ASX:JRV) is pleased to announce it has agreed to acquire 100 per cent of the São Miguel Paulista nickel and cobalt refinery in the Brazilian State of São Paulo.

Westpac (ASX:WBC) today announced that Acting Chief Executive, Westpac Institutional Bank (WIB), Curt Zuber, will be retiring from Westpac next year. Joanne Dawson has been appointed Group Treasurer, effective immediately.

Atomo Diagnostics (ASX:AT1) has expanded its existing Covid-19 rapid test partnership with Access Bio LLC. Unlike the general nasal swab testing in Australia which must go to a central laboratory for processing, the Atomo Covid-19 Antigen Test results are available after 10 minutes.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Infotech adding 2.4 per cent while the worst performing sector was Utilities, shedding 1.2 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC), rising 3.8 per cent to close at $1.09. Shares in Janus Henderson Group (ASX:CTD) and ARB Corporation (ASX:MMS) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was A2 Milk Company (ASX:A2M), dropping 4 per cent to close at $14.59. Shares in Cromwell Property Group (ASX:CMW) and Charter Hall Retail REIT (ASX:CQR) followed lower.

Asian markets

Mixed: Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.5 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has added 0.4 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,880 an ounce.
Iron ore price is 0.8 up at US$116.15.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.5 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.27 lower at US$40.60 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 70.81US cents.