ASX 200 sits at the crossroads

January 13, 2020 - 1 week ago
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Without further military action expected between the U.S. and Iran, the share market has started the week off on a subdued tone after breaking through its all-time highs on Friday.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index on Monday closed at a loss of -25.3 points, or -0.37%, to 6,903.7, while the broader all ordinaries finished down 21.7 points, or 0.31 per cent, to 7,020.2 points.

Energy shares fell the most, by -1.1%, as oil prices remain under pressure after plummeting nearly -6.5% last week.

Starting with Santos, which sunk -0.56%, while Woodside lost -1.20%, Origin slipped -1.72%, and Oil Search sunk -1.89%. Meanwhile, Cooper Energy fell -3.2%.

The heavyweight mining dropped -0.3% as BHP slipped -0.9% to $39.53 and Rio Tinto dropped -0.3% to $102.08, although Fortescue gained +0.8% to $10.79.

Goldminers were mixed, with Evolution up +2.8%, while Saracen Minerals slipped -1.1%, with Resolute Mining adding +1.8% after forecasting gold production for FY20 of 500,000 ounces.

The health care sector reversed its bull course from Friday and ended being the main weight on the index.

CSL dropped -1.60%, although it’s still up a strong +6.8% this month after closing just 70 cents shy of $300 before the weekend. Today’s closed put CSL at $294.50 a share.

Cochlear also had a bumpy ride today, but closed -0.23% down, while health care providers Ramsay, Sonic, and Fisher and Paykel all slipped -0.16%, and 0.66% and -1.10% respectively.

As for our “Fab Four” (banks), they were mostly down, with ANZ slipping -0.4% to $25.01, with Westpac dripped -0.2% to $24.59, while NAB ended flat at $24.93 and Commonwealth Bank slipped two cents at $82.48.

Only the technology sector kept positive, though Xero and Computershare posted -0.27% and -0.51% losses. On the flip side, Afterpay posted a healthy gain of +4.50%, while WiseTech climbed +0.45%.

Rival Zip Co was up +3.1% after announcing customer numbers had increased +24% to 1.8 million in the December quarter, while revenue also climbed +24% to $38.5 million.

Among other ‘buy now, pay later’ companies, Humm owner FlexiGroup was up +2.3%, while Splitit dropped -0.8%, Sezzle slipped -2.2%, and Openpay gained +3.2%.

Elsewhere in the tech space, Megaport gained +5.1% to $10.72, Appen was up +3.3% to $24, and Elmo Software climbed +6.6% to $6.50.

The Property sector also displayed a firm rise of +0.1% as Charter Hall rose +1.4% and Dexus advanced +0.7%.

The Australian dollar, meanwhile, was buying US$0.6915 (as of writing).

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