MARKET NEWS

Big miners drag share market lower
23/02/2017 5:25 PM

The share market has lost ground on another busy day of company earnings reports, as a fall in commodity prices weighed on the big miners, and Rio Tinto traded without its latest dividend.

Qantas and Crown Resorts were among the best performers after posting earnings reports, while Ramsay Health Care and Ardent Leisure disappointed investors.

The Australian dollar overcame a sharper-than-expected fall in business investment in the December quarter to remain close to 77 US cents.

"There wasn't much of an offshore lead overnight in America, and if you have a look at sector breakdown, it's mainly the materials sector that's pulling the market down," Atlantic Pacific Securities client advisor Gary Huxtable said.

"And Rio is really the big drag - it's ex-dividend today.

"Other than that, the iron ore market has been consolidating after having a pretty strong run there for a good week-and-a-half."

Rio Tinto dropped 5.45 per cent, BHP Billiton shed 2.7 per cent and Fortescue Metals lost 2.6 per cent.

South32 fell 3.85 per cent as the competition watchdog expressed concern over its proposed $US200 million acquisition of the Metropolitan Colliery in NSW from Peabody Energy.

Investor response to the many company earnings reports was mixed.

Qantas gained 5.35 per cent despite a 25 per cent fall in its half year profit, as investors thought the results demonstrated the airline's resilience in a competitive market.

Casinos operator Crown surged 7.9 per cent as it announced a weaker underlying first half profit, but launched a $500 million share buyback and declared a special dividend.

Hospitals operator Ramsay Health Care backtracked 3.2 per cent despite a 14 per cent rise in half year profit and an upgrade of its full year profit growth forecast.

Nine Entertainment surged 7.25 per cent as it made a half year loss of $237, because of another big writedown against its free-to-air TV network.

Dreamworld owner Ardent Leisure plunged 21.8 per cent as it posted a half year loss of $49 million after slashing the theme park's value by more than $90 million.

ON THE ASX:

* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 dropped 20.4 points, or 0.35 per cent, to 5,784.7 points.

* The broader All Ordinaries index dropped 17.6 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 5,832.5 points

* The March SPI200 futures contract was down 11 points at 5,759 points, with 27,099 contracts traded

* National market turnover was 2.44 billion shares worth $5.82 billion.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1700 AEDT:

One Australian dollar buys:

* 76.97 US cents, from 76.91 on Wednesday

* 87.173 Japanese yen, from 87.10 yen

* 72.85 euro cents, from 72.46 cents

* 61.83 British pence, from 61.61 pence

* 106.73 New Zealand cents, from 107.17 NZ cents

GOLD:

The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1700 AEDT was $US1,236.20 per fine ounce, up $US1.20 from $US1,235.00 on Wednesday.

BOND SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEDT:

* CGS 5.25 per cent March 2019, 1.825pct, from 1.861pct

* CGS 4.25pct April 2026, 2.7295pct, from 2.7825pct

Sydney Futures Exchange prices:

* March 2017 10-year bond futures contract at 97.18 (implying a yield of 2.82pct), from 97.135 (2.865pct) on Wednesday

* March 2017 3-year bond futures contract at 97.96 (2.04pct), from 97.93 (2.07pct).

(*Currency closes taken at 1700 AEDT previous local session, bond market closes taken at 1630 AEDT previous local session)

Big miners drag share market lower
23/02/2017 4:50 PM

The share market has lost ground on another busy day of company earnings reports, as a fall in commodity prices weighed on the big miners, and Rio Tinto traded without its latest dividend.

"There wasn't much of an offshore lead overnight in America, and if you have a look at sector breakdown, it's mainly the materials sector that's pulling the market down," Atlantic Pacific Securities client advisor Gary Huxtable said.

"And Rio is really the big drag - it's ex-dividend today.

"Other than that, the iron ore market has been consolidating after having a pretty strong run there for a good week-and-a-half."

Rio Tinto dropped 5.45 per cent, BHP Billiton shed 2.7 per cent and Fortescue Metals lost 2.6 per cent.

South32 fell 3.85 per cent as the competition watchdog expressed concern over its proposed $US200 million acquisition of the Metropolitan Colliery in NSW from Peabody Energy.

Investor response to the many company earnings reports on Thursday was mixed.

Qantas gained 5.35 per cent despite a 25 per cent fall in its half year profit, but investors thought the results demonstrated the airline's resilience in a competitive market.

Casinos operator Crown surged 7.9 per cent despite a weaker underlying first half profit, but investors welcomed a $500 million share buyback and the payment of a special dividend.

Hospitals operator Ramsay Health Care backtracked 3.2 per cent despite a 14 per cent rise in half year profit and an upgrade of its full year profit growth forecast.

Nine Entertainment surged 7.25 per cent as it made a half year loss of $237, because of another big writedown against its free-to-air TV network.

The Australian dollar was slightly stronger against the US dollar despite the release of data showing a sharper-than-expected fall in business investment in the December quarter.

The Aussie was at 76.99 US cents at 1630 AEDT, up from 76.91 US cents on Wednesday.

ON THE ASX:

* At 1615 AEDT, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 was down 20.4 points, or 0.35 per cent, at 5,784.7 points.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was down 17.6 points, or 0.3 per cent, at 5,832.5 points

* The March SPI200 futures contract was down 12 points at 5,758 points, with 27,099 contracts traded

* National market turnover was 2.44 billion shares worth $5.82 billion.

The Australian market is set to open lower
23/02/2017 7:16 AM

The Australian market looks set to open lower after Wall Street has a lacklustre day, with only the Dow Jones Industrial Average in positive territory in late trading

At 0700 AEDT on Thursday, the share price futures index was up down 15 points at 5,57,55 points.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average the Dow Jones Industrial Average held slight gains, but the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were in negative territory after the release of Federal Reserve's latest meeting minutes showed that many of the central bank's policymakers said it may be appropriate to raise interest rates "fairly soon".

Locally, in economic news on Thursday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics releases December quarter private new capital expenditure and expected expenditure figures, as well as average weekly earnings data.

In equities news, Qantas, Crown Resorts, Village Roadshow, Westfield Corp, Ardent Leisure, Vodafone Hutchison, Iluka Resources, Nine Entertainment Co, Southern Cross Media Group and Ramsay Health Care are among the companies expected to post results on Thursday.

The Australian market on Wednesday closed higher helped by well-received earnings reports from Woolworths, Coca-Cola Amatil and private hospital operator Healthscope.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 14.1 points, or 0.24 per cent, to 5,805.1 points.

The broader All Ordinaries index added 14.7 points, or 0.25 per cent, to 5,850.1 points.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar has jumped back above 77 US cents.

The local currency was trading at 77.10 US cents at 0700 AEDT on Thursday, from 76.91 on Wednesday.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 0700 AEDT:

One Australian dollar buys:

* 77.10 US cents, from 76.91 on Wednesday

* 87.22 Japanese yen, from 87.10 yen

* 72.95 euro cents, from 72.46 cents

* 61.90 British pence, from 61.61 pence

* 107.22 New Zealand cents, from 107.17 NZ cents

BOND SNAPSHOT AT 0700 AEDT:

* CGS 5.25 per cent March 2019, 1.8608pct, unchanged

* CGS 4.25pct April 2026, 2.7825pct, unchanged

Sydney Futures Exchange prices:

* March 2017 10-year bond futures contract at 97.155 (implying a yield of 2.845pct), from 97.135 (2.865pct) on Wednesday

* March 2017 3-year bond futures contract at 97.94 (2.06pct), from 97.93 (2.07pct).

(*Currency closes taken at 1700 AEDT previous local session, bond market closes taken at 1630 AEDT previous local session)