The ASX 200 is close to three month lows after falling for the sixth consecutive session on Thursday. The early selling comes after the Index suffered its worst one day decline since late March a day earlier. The early selling came on the heels of another session on Wall Street that was marked by the continued weakness for tech names in particular. The Dow Jones index rose by 22.5 points or 0.1% after trading in a 140 point range. The S&P 500 index fell by 0.3% and the Nasdaq lost 96 points or 1.2%.
At lunchtime on Thursday, Telecoms were the only sector to be spared attention from sellers, with the sub-index adding almost 2.5%. Healthcare and Information Technology were the sectors leading the declines with each group down in the order of 2.5%. At the same time, Energy, Materials, Industrials and Consumer Discretionary were lower by about 1%
A range of stocks were lower having gone ex-dividend, including: BHP which was down 2.3%, ASX -2.3%, Estia Health (EHE) -4.4%, FlexiGroup (FXL) -1%, Healthscope (HSO) – 1.7%, Northern Star (NST) -3.4% and NIB Holdings (NHF) -4%.
Shares in Nearmap (NEA) were in a trading halt as the group announced a capital raising to fund, among other things, it’s international expansion. The group plans to raise $70 million by selling 43.7 million new shares at $1.60 to institutional investors. NEA maintained its recent earnings guidance, saying further updates will be issued as the funds are deployed. NEA shares last traded at $1.80.
Telstra (TLS) shares were 10 cents or 5% higher at $3.12 despite lowering full year earnings guidance to reflect lower than forecast customer activations in relation to the NBN. The telco expects total revenue in 2019 to be $300 million lower than previously forecast, within a range of $26.2 billion to $28.1 billion. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization and excluding restructuring costs would be $100 million lower, at $8.7 billion to $9.4 Billion. The downward revision reflects the deferral of subscriber receipts from the NBN into future periods, although this would be partly offset by the lower network payments to NBN among other factors.
GrainCorp (GNC) shares were 1 cent lower at $7.88 after the agri-business raised its full year earnings guidance to a range of $255-$270 million for underlying EBITDA and $60-$75 million underlying NPAT. The companysaid it has benefited from the positive performance of the global Malt business, helped by the market position in the North American craft beer sector. The International grain trading and Liquid Terminals businesses also performed strongly. The GrainCorp Oils unit featured solid progress for the Foods segment, although the grains business experienced ongoing challenges due to drought conditions in eastern Australia.
Shares in Rare earth metals miner Lynas Corporation (LYC) were 4.6% or 9 cents lower at $1.96 after reporting a full year net profit after tax of $53.1m, its first statutory profit as a Rare Earths company, compared to a restated loss of $0.5m in the previous year. The group also reported its first positive EBIT of $81.0 million while positive cash flows from operating activities increased to $118.5m. Group debt reduced from US$425.0 million to US$165.2 million following loan repayments and the conversion of Convertible Bonds
Published by CommSec