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Local shares started lower for a third consecutive session on Friday, reflecting another session of losses for US stocks. US sharemarkets fell after President Trump announced new tariffs. In late US trade the US President announced a 25% tariff will be imposed on foreign steel and 10% tariff on aluminium. The Dow Jones ended lower by 420 points or 1.7% after trading in a 743 point range. The S&P 500 index fell by 1.3% and the Nasdaq lost 92 points or 1.3%
The ASX 200 opened with a loss of 8 points before trading to 60 point loss at the worst levels of the session. Every ASX sector was in the red as lunchtime approached. Information Technology, Consumer Staples, Healthcare and Telecoms were the leading decliners. Participation was average with around 1.5 billion transactions being measured by the ASX valued at $2.6 billion. At lunch 386 shares were higher, 702 were lower and 352 were unchanged
Rio Tinto (RIO), BHP Billiton (BHP) and South32 Ltd (S32) were all lower over the morning as investors considered the impact of the Trump tarrifs. Bluescope Steel (BSL) shares were at $16.35 for a gain of 18 cents or 1% with the Australian steelmaker being seen as a beneficiary of the import tariffs through its ownership of North Star Bluescope Steel in the US which produces around 2 million tonnes of hot rolled coil steel using scrap metal, pig iron and alloys. North Star BlueScope Steel ranks fifth by volume in the production of hot rolled coil in North America. Elsewhere, Energy names fell as oil prices did the same overnight reflecting a bigger-thanexpected lift in US crude stocks in the latest week. A firm US dollar also weighed on commodity prices in general. Base metal prices fell by up to 2.4% on the London Metal Exchange on Thursday.
Syrah Resources (SYR) shares fell after advising the market of equipment failure at the Balama graphite project in Mozambique. SYR said an issue had arisen regarding its Fines Dryer that has caused damage to other part of the dryer infrastructure. SYR is investigating the cause of the issue and planning repairs to mitigate production impacts . Repair time is expected to be 8 weeks and the cost to be immaterial. While the Fines Dryer is not operational, Syrah expects to produce approximately 65% of the volume planned for ramp up during this period, A short time ago SYR shares were at $3.22 for a loss of 4% or 13 cents.
Major currencies have risen against the US dollar after the announcement on US tariffs. The Aussie dollar rose from lows near US77.10 cents to highs near US77.65c and was near the highs in late US trade. In early Asian trade the local unit was at 77.7 US cents

Published by CommSec