Trade surplus rose to $6.8 billion in December: ASX closed 0.9% lower

Market Reports

by Melissa Darmawan

It's been a negative day of trade for the Australian share market. After opening slightly lower, the market failed to gain momentum. All sectors closed in the red. At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 59 points lower or 0.9 per cent lower to finish at 6,766.

Futures

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 69 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 10 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing fall of 35 points.
And the ASX 200 futures are eyeing a 81 point fall tomorrow morning.

Broker moves

Citi rates automobile component company ARB Corporation (ASX:ARB) as a buy, with a price target of $34.25. The broker believes the company's medium-term outlook is improving. Citi thinks the higher household saving rates and lifting of travel restrictions will be tailwinds for the company. Shares in ARB Corporation (ASX:ARB) closed 2.7 per cent higher at $38.61.

Economic news

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released international trade data for December. The trade surplus rose to $6.8 billion following a surplus of $5 billion in November.

Company news

Former CEO of Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG), Andrew Forrest now holds 5 per cent of animal nutrition solutions, Ridley Corporation (ASX:RIC) through his family's investment company, Tattarang. Ridley's brands include Barastoc, Cobber and Primo. Shares in Ridley Corporation (ASX:RIC) closed at 3.3 per cent higher at 94 cents.

AGL Energy (ASX:AGL) issued a $2.7 billion write down for the period ended 31 December 2020.

Origin Energy (ASX:ORG) now expects earnings to be in the range of $1 to $1.14 billion – a drop from the $1.15 to $1.3 billion range previously communicated to the market.

Exploration company, Musgrave Minerals (ASX:MGV) has appointed Brett Lambert as a non-executive director from today.

Vulcan Energy Resources (ASX:VUL) has secured commitments to raise $120 million through a placement at $6.50 per share.

Best and worst performers of the day

The sector with the fewest losses was Financials losing 0.4 per cent while the worst performing sector is A-REIT shedding 2.4 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was CSR (ASX:CSW) rising 3.4 per cent to close at $5.79. Shares in ARB Corporation (ASX:ARB) and Netwealth (ASX:NWL) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Origin Energy (ASX:ORG) dropping 6.9 per cent to close at $4.62. Shares in Ramelius Resources (ASX:RMS) and NRW Holdings (ASX:NWH) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.9 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 1.6 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 1.1 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,821 an ounce.
Iron ore price gained 1.9 per cent to US$152.65. Its futures are pointing to a rise of 1.8 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.20 higher at US$52.66 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 76.26 US cents.