ASX drops behind ex-div Fortescue falling 9.5%: Aus shares down 0.7% at noon

Market Reports

by Lauren Evans

The Australian sharemarket is trading in the red this morning, pressured lower by Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) trading ex-dividend. At noon, the ASX/200 is 0.7 per cent or 51.2 points lower at 7471.7. The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 40 points.

At noon, all sectors are in the red except technology, which is edging 0.2 per cent higher. Energy is leading the slope down at 2.5 per cent. Ex-dividend stocks are also dragging. 

Mining giant Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) is trading 9.5 per cent lower as the worst-performing stock, following a pay out of almost double last year. Meanwhile Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) is down 4.4 per cent and BHP (ASX:BHP) is down 0.2 per cent. 

Following a drop in oil prices, Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) is down 2.1 per cent, Santos (ASX:STO) is down 3 per cent and Oil search (ASX:OSH) is down 3.3 per cent. Santos and Oil Search announced an extension in making a decision about merging the two companies. 

Major banks are lower with Commonwealth (ASX:CBA) down 0.8 per cent. Westpac (ASX:WBC) is down 0.9 per cent, NAB (ASX:NAB) is down 0.2 per cent and ANZ (ASX:ANZ) is down 0.2 per cent. 

Pro Medicus (ASX:PME) is dragging the health sector, down 7.5 per cent, while the real estate group Lendlease (ASX:LLC) is also down 4.4 per cent. 

NSW recorded another 1281 new Covid-19 cases, Victoria recorded 246 new cases and Queensland recorded 0 cases 

Local economic news 

Job advertisements for August fell 2.5 per cent for the month to 195,995.

'"Job Ads have been more resilient this time around: the cumulative 3.7 per cent fall over the past two months was miniscule compared with the 64 per cent plunge last year during the national lockdown," ANZ senior economist Catherine Birch said.

"Newly lodged job ads are also holding up better. In NSW, they fell 10.3 per cent in July, but were still 24 per cent higher than pre-pandemic."

Company news

Private equity firm BGH Capital, has ditched its non binding proposal to acquire 100 per cent of shares in Hansen Technologies (ASX:HSN).

Incitec Pivot (ASX:IPL) announced the resignation of chief financial officer (CFO) Nick Stratford, who has chosen to pursue other opportunities after 13 years with Incitec Pivot.

Pushpay (ASX:PPH) appointed Richard Keys as interim chief financial officer (CFO), while current CFO Shane Sampson plans to leave at the end of this month.

IPO

HealthCo Healthcare & Wellness REIT (ASX:HCW) listed on the ASX today at issue price of $2.00. The stock opened at $2.20 and now trading at $2.23.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Information Technology, up 0.2 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Energy, down 2.5 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Alumina (ASX:AWC), trading 6.3 per cent higher at $2.12. It is followed by shares in Appen (ASX:APX) and Ramelius Resources (ASX:RMS).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG), trading 9.5 per cent lower at $18.87. It is followed by shares in Pro Medicus (ASX:PME) and Lendlease Group (ASX:LLC).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1827.48 an ounce.
Iron ore is 1.9 per cent higher at US$144.71 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 2.7 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 74.39 US cents.

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