The local sharemarket is again under selling pressure with the ASX weaker following yesterday’s 1.8% sell off. The moves today are far more subdued with the ASX 200 softer by 32 points or 0.5% to 5803. Wall St also saw a softer session overnight with the Dow Jones falling 100 points but the Nasdaq closing flat.
Losses for the energy sector remain one of the main talking points with crude oil prices continuing its recent decline for a 12th straight session. Overnight, US Nymex crude slumped ~7% to a 12-month low with concerns of oversupply intensifying. Major producers Woodside Petroleum (WPL) and Oil Search (OSH) are down between 2.5-3% with Santos (STO) slipping 3.5%. Beach Energy (BPT) is losing 5.5%. Caltex (CTX) is bucking the trend as it lifts modestly by 0.4%.
A generally softer tone for metals is also weighing on the materials sector. Larger miners such as BHP Billiton (BHP) and Rio Tinto are both lower around 1% while diversified miner South32 (S32) is giving up 2%. Losses for the resources have offset positive movements for communications and consumer discretionary stocks. While local tech stocks rebound from yesterday’s losses.
It is a busy day for corporate AGM’s with a number of updates provided by companies. Packaging company, Pact Group (PGH) is 11% weaker after revising its FY19 earnings lower to $240 million from a previous range of $270-$285 million. Media firms Nine Entertainment (NEC) and Seven West Media (SWM) are faring better after maintaining FY19 outlook at their AGMs. NEC is up 1.3% while SWM is lifting 2.8%. Bingo Industries (BIN) is also improving 2% as it reaffirmed FY19 guidance.
Elsewhere, Inghams Group (ING) is advancing by 4.7% as the new CEO & Managing Director commences the role. DuluxGroup (DLX) is up 0.7% on a solid earnings result for FY18 with a 5.4% lift in profit to $150.7 million with strong expectations for the upcoming year.
Wages growth has come in line with expectations with a 0.6% increase over the September quarter and a 2.3% increase on an annual basis. The Aussie dollar is buying 72.25 US cents following the release of the wages data.
So far, 1.3B units have traded worth $1.8B with 379 stocks higher, 524 lower and 321 unchanged.
Published by James Tao, CommSec