President Trump contracts Covid-19: Aus shares close 1.4% lower

Market Reports

by Katrina Bullock

The Aussie dollar has toppled, and US futures are looking bleak after confirmation that President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump, have contracted Covid-19. The session ended 1.4 per cent lower as investors digested what the inevitable instability and uncertainty would mean for the Aussie market. All of the sectors finished in the red.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 81 points lower to finish at 5,792.

Over the week, the market has lost 173 points or 2.99 per cent.

Futures markets

Dow futures are suggesting a plummet of 451 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a slide of 53 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a nosedive of 217 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing an 89-point fall on Tuesday morning.

Economic news

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released final retail trade figures for the month of August. Retail trade dropped 4 per cent month on month in seasonally adjusted terms, beating the preliminary trade estimate of a 4.2 per cent fall. This follows July’s 3.2 per cent gain. Australian retail turnover rose 7.1 per cent in August 2020 compared with August 2019.

Company news

The Federal Court of Australia has ordered Australia's largest enterprise software company, TechnologyOne (ASX:TNE) to pay $5.2 million to a former employee. The executive was responsible for the Victorian arm of the business. He alleged that he was bullied, marginalised and undermined from early 2016 by at least two senior executives. This has prompted the tech giant to warn that earnings will be at the lower end of guidance as a result of the payout. The company had only provisioned $1.6 million in its accounts for the liability and says it was “extremely surprised with the decision” and intends to appeal the court’s findings. Shares in TechnologyOne (ASX:TNE) closed 1.5 per cent higher at $8.01.

Immuno-oncology company, Imugene (ASX:IMU) has been granted a US patent which will protects its cancer growth factor immunotherapy platform until 2035.

Kitchen appliance manufacturer, Breville Group (ASX:BRG) has acquired Baratza on a cash and debt free basis for approximately US$60 million. The Seattle based coffee grinding company Baratza designs and markets premium coffee grinders for North American and international markets.

nib Holdings (ASX:NHF) released its annual report for the year ended 30 June 2020. Group revenue grew 3.4 per cent to $2.5 billion. However, net profit after tax plummeted around 40 per cent to $89.2 million.

Collins Foods (ASX:CKF) has announced that its 9 remaining Sizzler restaurants in Australia will permanently shut up shop by November 2020.
 
Best and worst performers of the day

The sector with the fewest losses was Consumer Staples, shedding 0.2 per cent, while the worst-performing sector was Energy, shedding 4 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Janus Henderson Group (ASX:JHG), rising 9.4 per cent to close at $32.80. Shares in EML Payments (ASX:EML) and Fletcher Building (ASX:FBU) followed.

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Mesoblast (ASX:MSB), dropping 37.2 per cent to close at $3.19. Shares in NRW Holdings (ASX:NWH) and Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) followed.

Asian Markets

Japan's Nikkei has lost 0.77 per cent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng and China's Shanghai Composite are closed due to public holiday.

Wall Street 

Wrapped up our four trading days this week higher: The Dow Jones added 2.3 per cent, The S&P 500 added 2.4 per cent and the tech heavy Nasdaq gained 3.7 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,908 an ounce.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 4 per cent.
Light crude is US$1.39 lower at US$37.62 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.46 US cents.