Australian shares fell at the open following negative leads from the US overnight. They continued to sink in early trade. The market managed to shrug off weaker than expected preliminary retail trade data and staged a valiant attempt at a recovery in the second half of the session. But this wasn’t enough to move the S&P/ASX200 into positive territory. At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 0.6 per cent or 38 points lower to finish at 6,708. Utilities, REITs and Communications were the only sectors to see gains today.
Over the week, the market has lost 59 points or 0.9 per cent. The Materials sector was the biggest drag on the market this week, retreating almost 4 per cent.Futures market
Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 95 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a lift of 3 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a fall of almost 10 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 31 point fall on Monday morning.Economic news
The Australian Bureau of Statistics released preliminary retail trade figures for February. The seasonally adjusted estimate fell 1.1 per cent month on month. This fell short of expectations – with the market expecting to see a 0.6 per cent rise. Turnover was up 8.7 per cent in February though compared to February of last year.Broker moves
Citi rates health supplement company Blackmores (ASX:BKL)
as a sell, with a price target of $59.20. The broker thinks Blackmores could benefit from a strategic partnership arrangement to help with regulatory and distribution capabilities in China. It notes that international travel restrictions have added to the company’s challenges. Shares in Blackmores (ASX:BKL)
closed 1.4 per cent lower at $83.38.Company news
KGL Resources (ASX:KGL)
completed its entitlement offer today. The company raised $21.57 million through its placement and entitlement offer. In late February the mineral explorer announced a 1 for 13 non-renounceable entitlement issue at an offer price of $0.42 to raise approximately $11.77 million. The take-up fell short of the target, only managing to raise $9.57 million. Shares in KGL Resources (ASX:KGL)
closed flat at 71 cents.
Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG)
has completed its $US1.5 billion offering of senior unsecured notes.
has struck a deal to sell Spacetalk (ASX:SPA)
Adventurer devices across all of its retail stores and online channels in Australia.
Coles Group (ASX:COL)
has pledged to go 100 per cent renewable by 2025.
Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM)
says there is currently no anticipated interruption to gold production as a result of the 2 week travel suspension between Papua New Guinea and Australia.Wall Street
Wrapped up our four trading days this week higher: The Dow Jones gained 0.3 per cent, The S&P 500 shed 0.7 per cent and the Nasdaq lost 1.6 per cent.Best and worst performers of the day
The best performing sector was Utilities adding 1.2 per cent while the worst performing sector was Energy, shedding just over 2 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST)
, rising 4.2 per cent to close at $9.75. Shares in Shopping Centres Australasia Property Group (ASX:SCP)
and Altium (ASX:ALU)
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Silver Lake Resources (ASX:SLR)
, dropping 4.4 per cent to close at $1.61. Shares in Perseus Mining (ASX:PRU)
and Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM)
followed lower.Asian markets
lower: Japan’s Nikkei has lost 1.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 1.6 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has shed 1.5 per cent.Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,732 an ounce.
Iron ore price rise flat at US$168.21.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 2.4 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.30 higher at US$57.69 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 77.43 US cents.Investor event
FNN's investor event is on 23 March. 5 companies presenting starting at 12:30pm. Details including registration available here