CSL & energy stocks fall while Afterpay soars, Why Stockland is a buy: ASX closes 0.32% lower

Market Reports

by Melissa Darmawan

The Australian sharemarket fell for its second straight session as banks and energy stocks pressured the market while technology stocks rose. The local bourse saw a wide spread decline with eight out of the 11 sectors in the red.

The buy now pay later space saw tech star Afterpay (ASX:APT) jumped 6.2 percent following its news on expanding its offering to 13 big names in the US while Zip Co (ASX:Z1P) lost 1.3 per cent. Global payment provider Splitit (ASX:SPT) lost 1.7 per cent after their payment solution went live on US healthcare provider platform Green Feather.

On the banking front, Westpac (ASX:WBC) lost 0.1 per cent after they announced they would not spin off its New Zealand business. Unfortunately its peers followed suit with National Australia Bank (ASX:NAB) fell 1.1 per cent followed by ANZ (ASX:ANZ) lost 0.8 per cent and Commonwealth Bank (ASX:CBA) 0.5 per cent lower.

Oil stocks failed to get momentum despite oil prices advancing with the likes of Oilsearch (ASX:OSH) lost 1.8 per cent while Santos (ASX:STO) dropped 1.2 per cent.

Heavyweight CSL declined 2.6 per cent to its forth straight loss while supermarket giant Woolworths (ASX:WOW) plummeted 11.2 per cent as Endeavour Group (ASX:EDV) made their debut today.

Cimic (ASX:CIM) added 0.1 per cent after winning a $4 billion contract from the Victorian government while Nuix (ASX:NXL) lost 1.9 per cent after their Sydney office was raided by the federal police. Fleet leasing company SG Fleet (ASX:SGF) closed flat after the foreign review board gave their stamp of approval with the proposed acquisition of Leaseplan Australia.

Flight stocks closed mixed as the Sydney Covid-19 cluster grows. Flight Centre (ASX:FLT) shed down 0.1 per cent while Qantas (ASX:QAN) fell 1.9 per cent as Webjet (ASX:WEB) closed flat.

On a prettier note, mining giants closed in the black. Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) added 1.2 per cent followed by Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) up 1.2 per cent while BHP (ASX:BHP) edged up 0.9 per cent.

At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 was 0.32 per cent or 23.2 points lower at 7275.30.

Futures

The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a rise of 75.00 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a rise of 8.75 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a rise of 38.00 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 34 points.

Local economic news

The Australian Bureau of Statistics have released the June Business Conditions and Sentiments report which shows that 27 per cent of Australian businesses are having difficulty finding suitable staff.

ABS head of industry statistics John Shepherd said the latest business conditions and sentiments survey conducted from 9 to 16 June showed there were several reasons why employers were struggling to find suitable staff to fill jobs.

“The most frequently reported reason was a lack of applicants (74 per cent), followed by applicants not having the required skills (66 per cent), international border closures (32 per cent) and job location (29 per cent).”

Company news

Please join us for Stocks of the Hour here.

Westpac (ASX:WBC) clears the air after announcing to investors that they will not spin off its New Zealand business. This comes after Australia’s oldest bank announced to market that they were considering a demerger after consolidating their international operations in Asia in March.

The engineering company CIMIC (ASX:CIM) has been awarded by Victorian Government to deliver the North East Link Primary Package in Melbourne.

Global payments provider Splitit Payments (ASX:SPT) is now a live payment option on US based healthcare payment platform Green Feather following its initial news in the first quarter of FY2021. This gives customers the ability to use their credit card and spread their payments over time with no interest, application or fees

The foreign investment review board have given their thumbs up to the proposed acquisition of LeasePlan Australia by SG Fleet (ASX:SGF).

Software company Nuix (ASX:NXL) has revealed to market that a search warrant was executed in their Sydney office as authorities seek documents for an investigation to an unnamed individual.

Telco services provider Vocus (ASX:VOC) has received a tick of approval from the NSW Supreme Court for the takeover by a consortium comprising of Macquarie Infrastructure and Aware Super.

Catapult Group (ASX:CAT) has completed a $35 million underwritten institutional placement of new shares at $1.90 each which comes at a discount of 12.8 per cent to its closing price on 22 June this year.

Broker moves

Morgan rates Stockland (ASX:SGP) as a buy with a price target of $5. The broker acknowledges the property company has estimated a second half dividend of 13.3 cents bringing the full year distribution to 26.4 cents, a 2.1 per cent increase on FY20. The $11.3 billion company has confirmed the trend continues "towards the top end" of FY21 guidance ranges. Morgan expects settlements will remain strong but takes note on the processing of rental abatements and vacancy provisions might influence results at the balance date. Shares in Stockland (ASX:SGP) closed 0.63 per cent higher at $4.76.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Information Technology, up 2.07 per cent while the worst-performing sector was Health Care, down 1.80 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Redbubble (ASX:RBL), closing 7.10 per cent higher at $3.47 followed by shares in Pro Medicus (ASX:PME) and Afterpay (ASX:APT).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Woolworths Group (ASX:WOW) closing 11.20 per cent lower at $37.75 followed by shares in Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST) and Boral (ASX:BLD).

Asian markets

Japan's Nikkei has lost 0.05 per cent.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng has gained 0.25 per cent.
China's Shanghai Composite has gained 0.07 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1777.99 an ounce.
Iron ore is 0.80 per cent higher at US$216.01 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.77 per cent.
Light crude is trading $0.14 higher at US$69.97 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 75.77 US cents. 

Are you a 708 sophisticated investor?

A sophisticated investor is defined under Section 708 of the Corporations Act (net assets of $2.5 million or annual incomes in excess of $250,000).

They are eligible to receive information regarding wholesale investment opportunities that are not available to regular or retail investors.

Please subscribe if you would like to be alerted to these types of opportunities.