Covid-19 not necessarily the big one, WHO warns: ASX closes 0.3% lower

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian sharemarket closed lower today, 18 points down or 0.3 per cent lower at 6,682. The World Health Organisation has marked the one year anniversary of the Coronavirus pandemic reporting that the worst is yet to come. WHO was first alerted on December 31 last year, when Chinese officials reported they were investigating a cluster of viral pneumonia in Wuhan. Afterpay (ASX:APT) shares fell today after a record high on Tuesday. The best performing stock today was the United Malt Group (ASX:UMG).

Futures

The Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 105 points. S&P 500 futures are eyeing a lift of 17 points. The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a rise of 51 points. And the SPI futures are eyeing a fall of 16 points tomorrow morning.

Company news

Cooper Energy (ASX:COE) reports that the remaining Sole Gas Sales Agreements will start on 1 January 2021. Sole gas is processed at the Orbost Gas Processing Plant operated by APA Group (ASX:APA).

Kalamazoo’s (ASX:KZR) diamond drilling program at the Lightning Prospect has been completed. Results have confirmed good widths of quartz veining.

Red River Resources (ASX:RVR) has started production at its Hillgrove Gold Operation in New South Wales.

IPO

We have the last IPO of the year today, exploration Mining company BPM MIneraals started trading today. It’s shares were issued at 20 cents, it started trading at 24.5 cents and closed the day at 25 cents.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Energy gaining 0.4 per cent while the sector trailing behind was Utilities dropping 1.6 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is United Malt Group (ASX:UMG) rising 2.7 per cent to $4.23, followed by shares in SIMS (ASX:SGM) and Abacus Property Group (ASX:ABP).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Growthpoint Properties Australia (ASX:GOZ) dropping 4.3 per cent to $3.59, followed by shares in Afterpay (ASX:APT) and Spark Infrastructure (ASX:SKI).

Asian markets mixed

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.4 per cent Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 1.5 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.96 per cent.

Commodities

Gold is trading at US$1,885 an ounce.
Iron ore has lost 0.9 per cent to $160.84.
Iron ore futures are suggesting a fall of 4.5 per cent.
Light crude has gained $0.16 cents to $47.73.
One Australian dollar is buying 76.63US cents.