Miners drag, Health Care leads: ASX close 0.5% lower

Market Reports

by Lauren Evans

The Australian share market drifted from as a low as 1.2 per cent to close half a per cent lower for the second day in a row. At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 was 0.5 per cent or 34 points lower at 7,252.

Mining giants continued to drag down the index, with BHP (ASX:BHP) closing 2.3 per cent lower at $49.36 following the release of its Q2 results. Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) closed 2.5 per cent lower at $124.70 and Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) closed 0.8 per cent lower at $25.22.

Energy as a whole was amid the decliners, with Santos (ASX:STO) closing 5 per cent lower following the news of a confirmed merger proposal with Oil Search. Oil Search (ASX:OSH), however, closed 7.1 per cent higher. Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) closed 1.7 per cent lower .

Onto banks, ANZ (ASX:ANZ) closed 0.7 per cent higher followings news about return of funds to shareholders. Commonwealth (ASX:CBA) scraped through, closing 0.1 per cent higher. Westpac (ASX:WBC) closed 0.6 per cent lower and NAB (ASX:NAB) closed 0.7 per cent lower.

On a positive note, BNPL providers Afterpay and Zip Co had a good run. Afterpay (ASX:APT) closed 1.6 per cent higher following news of its new app "Money by Afterpay". Zip Co (ASX:Z1P) closed 5.5 per cent higher.

Health Care was the best performing sector, but individual stocks were mixed. CSL (ASX:CSL) closed 1.4 per cent higher along with Fisher and Paykel (ASX:FPH), 2.2 per cent higher. Sonic Health Care (ASX:SHL) closed 0.8 per cent lower.

NSW recorded 78 new COVID-19 cases. Victoria extended its lockdown for another 7 days after recording 9 new cases. South Australia is to go into lockdown from 6pm tonight after recording a fifth case. Queensland recorded 1 new case.

Local economic news  

The Reserve bank released minutes from their July meeting available here

Company news 

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Insurance provider IAG (ASX:IAG) has commenced the sales process to divest its interest in their Malaysian venture, AmGeneral Holdings, the general insurance arm of AmBank Group for a deal that could be valued at $340 million.

Mining giant BHP (ASX:BHP) have announced a record production achieved at Western Australia Iron Ore (WAIO) and Goonyella. Olympic Dam achieved both the highest annual copper production since the acquisition by BHP in 2005 and the highest gold production ever for the operation.

Reliance Worldwide Corporation (ASX:RWC) has announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire the business assets of LCL for approximately $37 million.

Sydney Airport (ASX:SYD) has released their traffic performance review for June 2021. Total passenger traffic in June 2021 recorded 989,000 passengers, down 70.9 per cent from the corresponding period in 2019.

Lovisa Holdings (ASX:LOV), a fast-fashion retailer in jewellery and accessories, have continued to experience disruptions in trading and temporary store closures as a result of the governments COVID-19 measures over the recent months.

Australian energy supplier Santos (ASX:STO), has confirmed that on 25 June 2021 it submitted a confidential, non-binding indicative merger proposal to the Oil Search Board.

Petrol and diesel supplier Ampol (ASX:ALD), has provided an update on the performance of the Lytton refinery for Q2 2021. The Lytton refiner margin (LRM) for Q2 was US $6.29 per barrel, higher than the US $5.48 per barrel in the first quarter.

Buy now, pay later (BNPL) provider Afterpay (ASX:APT) has announced key details of its new money and lifestyle app 'Money by Afterpay', which will begin its roll out today and is set to launch in October. 

Australian real estate company Dexus (ASX:DXS), has announced that it has entered into binding terms which provide a framework to fund, develop and invest in Atlassian’s new headquarters in Sydney.

Australia's health insurer nib holdings (ASX:NHF) has announced the appointment of Mr Peter Harmer as an independent non-executive director of the nib board following the retirement of nib’s non-executive director and chairman, Mr Steve Crane


The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a rise of 118 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a rise of 16 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a rise of 87 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 17 points when the market next opens.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Health Care, up 0.9 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Materials, down 1.8 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Oil Search (ASX:OSH), closing 6.3 per cent higher at $3.90. It was followed by shares in Zip Co (ASX:Z1P) and JB Hi-Fi (ASX:JBH).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Nickel Mines (ASX:NIC), closing 6.2 per cent lower at $0.98. It was followed by shares in Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX:URW) and Santos (ASX:STO).

Asian markets

Japan's Nikkei has lost 0.8 per cent.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng has lost 1.3 per cent.
China's Shanghai Composite has lost 0.4 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1816.17 an ounce.
Iron ore is 0.2 per cent lower at US$221.04 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.36 per cent.
Light crude is trading $0.52 higher at US$66.87 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 73.21 US cents.


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