Banks & miners end 7-day gain streak: Aus shares close 0.3% lower

Market Reports

by Michael Luu

The Australian stock market started the session lower on the back of Wall Street lows overnight but managed to climb back to the neutral zone before midday. The afternoon saw plenty of seesaw movement on the market, as banks and big miners continued to weigh down the market.

At the closing bell, the ASX 200 closed 0.3 per cent lower or 17 points down at 6179.

However, analysts have pinpointed that the Australian market is doing relatively well, as compared to Asian counterparts China and Hong Kong.

New South Wales has recorded 11 new community-transmitted coronavirus cases. The news pushed shares in Flight Centre (ASX:FLT) , Webjet (ASX:WEB) and the rest of the travel industry downwards, as it threatens easing restrictions and borders reopening.

Futures

the Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 53 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a gain of 10 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a gain of 47 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a fall of 30 points tomorrow morning.

Local economic news

Australia’s consumer confidence rose 11.9 per cent to a three-month high of 105 points in October due to the federal budget, according to Westpac.

Meantime, the seasonally adjusted estimate for the total number of dwelling units commenced in the June quarter fell 5.6 per cent, while the value of total building work done fell 3.8 per cent according to the ABS.

Company news

Banking heavyweight Westpac (ASX:WBC) has today announced departures from Mainland China, Hong Kong, India & Indonesia, following an overhaul of international operations. Acting Westpac Institutional Bank Chief Executive Curt Zuber has justified this move as an attempt to streamline the corporation’s international footprint into three financial hubs - Singapore, London and New York. Mr. Zuber believes that this move will allow Westpac (ASX:WBC) to better focus on supporting its core  Australian and New Zealand customer bases. The banking giant’s experts predict that this move will not substantially affect cash earnings and will enhance Westpac’s capital allocation. Shares in Westpac closed 1.4 per cent lower at $18.70.

CSL (ASX:CSL) has raised the lower end of its full year profit guidance and is now expecting growth of between 3 per cent and 8 per cent despite warning of higher plasma costs.

James Hardie (ASX:JHX) has raised its FY21 net operating profit guidance range to between US$380 million and US$420 million, following the 6th consecutive quarter of growth above market with strong returns

Bank of Queensland (ASX:BOQ) has posted a 30 per cent decline in cash net profits for FY20 to $225 million.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Health Care gaining 1.3 per cent, while the worst performing sector is industrials losing 1 per cent. The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is EML Payments (ASX:MSB) rising 11.3 per cent to $3.64, followed by shares in Nearmap (ASX:NEA) and Bank of Queensland (ASX:BOQ) The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Flight Centre Travel Group (ASX:FLT) dropping 7.7 per cent to $13.28, followed by shares in Cimic Group (ASX:CIM) and Aurizon (ASX:AZJ).

Asian markets

Mixed: Japan’s Nikkei is steady, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is down 0.2 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.6 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,895 an ounce.
Iron ore price is 2.5 per cent down to US$121.15.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of nearly 2.7 per cent.
Light crude has shed US$0.15 to US$40.34 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.68 US cents.