Energy sector pulls on the market: ASX closes 1.6% lower

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market closed 1.6% lower. Despite welcoming back customers in metropolitan Melbourne after their temporary closure due to covid, shares in JB Hi-Fi (ASX:JBH) didn’t do so well today. The rest of their trading update failed to impress investors. Shares in Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) were on the rise today. As for the sectors, they all stayed in the red today, with energy the worst performer of the day.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 97 points down to finish at 5,960.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 288 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a lift of 35 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a rise of 113 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 94 point fall for tomorrow morning.

Local economic news

The Australian Bureau of Statistics says import price index fell 3.5 per cent in the September quarter and 5.7 per cent through the year.
The export price index fell 5.1 per cent in the September quarter and 9.9 per cent through the year.

Company news

Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) lithium production has seen a 49 per cent rise in sales volumes in the September quarter compared to the June quarter. European Green Deal, which aims to make Europe climate neutral by 2050, is driving electric vehicle take up and therefore shifting market sentiment. As we announced yesterday, Pilbara announced they have entered a conditional agreement to acquire Altura Lithium for $248 million. Shares in Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) closed 10.3 per cent higher at $0.43.

The Westpac Group (ASX:WBC) has entered into an agreement to settle the US bank bill swap reference rate (BBSW) class action. This class action was filed in 2016. Westpac has also entered into a settlement agreement in the US Rosen Law Firm Class Action. This was filed in January 2020 in relation to market disclosure issues connected to Westpac’s financial crime obligations over the period 11 November 2015 to 19 November 2019. Settlement is subject to Court approval

ANZ (ASX:ANZ) today announced their Cash Profit for its continuing operations was $3.76 billion, down 42 per cent for the Full Year ending 30 September 2020.

Magellan Financial Group (ASX:MFG) has completed its investment in FinClear Holdings. FinClear is a leading a provider of trading infrastructure, and ASX market-access services to wealth, stockbroking, platform, and fintech customers.

Best and worst performers of the day

All sectors finished in the red. The sector with the fewest losses was Consumer Staples, shedding 0.4 per cent, while the worst-performing sector was Energy, shedding 2.9 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC), rising 4.6 per cent to close at $1.02. Shares in IGO (ASX:IGO) and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare (ASX:FPH) followed.

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Westgold Resources (ASX:WGX), dropping 8.9 per cent to close at 2.56. Shares in JB Hi-Fi (ASX:JBH) and Seek (ASX:SEK) followed.

Asian markets

Mixed: Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.9 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.1 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,883 an ounce.
Iron ore is 1.5 per cent higher at US$116.87.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a lift of 0.1 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.10 higher at US$37.49 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 70.65 US cents.