ASX slides on Materials & Energy drop, Nick Scali confirms talks with Plush: Aus shares close 0.9% lower

Market Reports

by Lauren Evans

The Australian share market was weighed down by COVID blues, closing 0.9 per cent or 62 points lower at 7,286.

Major banks and miners continued to weigh on the index, both closing lower, while some Energy suppliers also took a hit.

Despite the market's downward pressure, Health Care closed 1.6 per cent higher as the best-performing sector. Consumer Staples and Utilities also closed higher.

Mining giant Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) closed 2.1 per cent lower at $127.83, BHP (ASX:BHP) closed 2.6 per cent lower at $50.50 and Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) closed 1.4 per cent lower at $25.42.

Banks were down throughout the day. NAB (ASX:NAB) closed 1 per cent lower, ANZ (ASX:ANZ) closed 0.9 per cent lower, Westpac (ASX:WBC) closed 0.6 per cent lower and Commonwealth (ASX:CBA) 0.4 per cent lower.

On a positive note, healthcare giant CSL (ASX:CSL) closed 1.8 per cent higher at $282.74, while Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) closed 0.8 per cent higher after hitting an all-time high of nearly $60 per share.

Oil Search (ASX:OSH) dropped again after midday, closing 4.9 per cent lower at $3.68 following the news of its managing director, Keiran Wulff stepping down due to health reasons and behavioural complaints. Santos (ASX:STO) also closed 2.3 per cent lower followed by Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL), which closed 2 per cent lower.

After a pause in trading earlier today, Nick Scali Furniture (ASX:NCK) closed 4.8 per cent higher at $11.50, following news of its pending acquisition to acquire Plush Sofas. 

The best-performing stock was Deterra (ASX:DRR), closing 3.4 per cent higher. The worst-performing stock was Chalice Mining (ASX:CHN), closing 9.7 per cent lower.

NSW has recorded 98 new COVID-19 cases, while Victoria recorded 18 cases.

Company news

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Dual-listed gold producer OceanaGold (ASX:OGC) has seen a bright spot in their preliminary second quarter results they released after market close on Friday, 15 July.

Australia's largest mobile phone network Telstra (ASX:TLS) has confirmed it has been in discussions to buy Digicel Pacific, in partnership with the Federal Government.

Vulcan Energy's (ASX:VUL) binding lithium hydroxide offtake term sheet has signed with LG Energy Solution (LGES) for their global Zero Carbon LithiumTM project.

Stockland (ASX:SGP) has announced that it has entered into binding agreements to acquire Queensland based Halcyon Group’s land lease communities business for $620 million plus transaction costs and subject to certain adjustments at completion.

Oil Search (ASX:OSH) has announced that its managing director, Dr Keiran Wulff, has resigned for health reasons. The Papua New Guinea-based energy giant entered into discussions with Dr Wulff following the receipt of recent concerns and complaints about his behaviour.

Futures

The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a fall of 144 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a fall of 14 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a fall of 23 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 66 points when the market next opens.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Health Care, up 1.6 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Materials, down 2.4 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Deterra (ASX:DRR), closing 3.4 per cent higher at $4.55. It was followed by shares in PolyNovo (ASX:PNV) and Elders (ASX:ELD).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Chalice Mining (ASX:CHN), closing 9.7 per cent lower at $6.74. It was followed by shares in Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) and Eagers Automotive (ASX:APE).

Asian markets

Japan's Nikkei has lost 1.2 per cent.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng has lost 1.98 per cent.
China's Shanghai Composite has lost 0.5 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1809.11 an ounce.
Iron ore is 0.3 per cent lower at US$221.43 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 0.8 per cent.
Light crude is trading $0.68 lower at US$70.88 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 73.79 US cents.
 

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