Heavy rain falls on Whitehaven, Legal fees haunt Nuix: ASX tumbles 1.7% at noon

Market Reports

by Lauren Evans

The Australian sharemarket is swimming deep in the red heavily weighed down by materials and energy stocks. All sectors are lower with consumer staples shedding the least.

BHP shareholders voted in favour of scrapping its dual listing with over 97 per cent voting in favour of the ASX to be the home of the soon to be largest company on the bourse. The unification still requires UK court approval with the hearing slated for Jan 25. BHP (ASX:BHP) and Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) are both down 3 per cent, while Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) is trading 1.8 per cent lower.

Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) has tumbled 6.4 per cent to $2.76 after the miner felt the impact of heavy rain across the east side of the nation. Labour shortages also weighed on operations and road access which has led to a fall in production and sales volumes for the quarter, with full year production targets cut by 5 per cent. This stock is the second worst performer today.

Gold stocks are adding to the fall reversing its gain from yesterday with Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) down 1.7 per cent, Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) down 1 per cent and Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST) trading 0.3 per cent lower.

Energy stocks are suffering with Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) falling 3.1 per cent, Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) down 2.5 per cent and Santos (ASX:STO) trading 2 per cent lower.

In the tech space, Nuix (ASX:NXL) has dropped 16.3 per cent to $1.72 as legal costs haunted the software firm. The company expects to report a substantial fall in earnings for the first half of the financial year 2022. Existing customers have helped buoy the company’s revenue while earnings from new customers are lower. Revenue is set to come in 3.5 per cent lower at $82 million to $85 million compared to the prior corresponding period.

In other company news, Virtus Health (ASX:VRT) welcomes yesterday’s announcement from the Victorian Government after listening to the many people impacted by the suspension of IVF procedures in Victoria. Shares are trading 0.3 per cent higher at $7.22.

Major banks are lower except Westpac (ASX:WBC) which is trading flat. Macquarie Bank (ASX:MQG) has declined 2.2 per cent, ANZ Bank (ASX:ANZ) is down 0.7 per cent, and Commonwealth (ASX:CBA) and National Australian Bank (ASX:NAB) are both down 0.6 per cent.

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 1.7 per cent or 125 points lower at 7,218. The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 120 points.

Best and worst performers

All sectors are in the red. The sector with the fewest losses is Consumer Staples, down 0.8 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Energy, down 3.2 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Boral (ASX:BLD), trading 2.3 per cent higher at $5.87. It is followed by shares in Blackmores (ASX:BKL) and Cochlear (ASX:COH).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Paladin Energy (ASX:PDN), trading 9.3 per cent lower at $0.79. It is followed by shares in Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) and Allkem (ASX:AKE).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1839.38 an ounce.
Iron ore is 2.6 per cent higher at US$133.65 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 2.8 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.95 US cents.

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