Energy leads, Tech & health stocks drag: ASX closes 0.1% lower

The Australian sharemarket remained in negative territory in the afternoon session as technology and health care stocks weighed on the index. At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 was 0.1 per cent or 4.70 points lower at 7452.20.

Across the sectors, 6 out of eleven closed in the red. Technology was the biggest drag, down 1.7 per cent, followed by health care down 1.3 per cent, then communication services down 1 per cent. Meanwhile, energy added the most points, up 1.9 per cent, followed by industrials up 1 per cent. 

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Flight Centre Travel (ASX:FLT), closing 5.7 per cent higher following a surge in travel stocks. The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was biotech company PolyNovo (ASX:PNV), closing 9.7 per cent lower despite having no company news released today. 

Tech stocks tumbled, with payment software Xero (ASX:XRO) closing 5.3 per cent lower and Appen (ASX:APX) closing 3.7 per cent lower. Online real estate advertiser REA Group (ASX:REA) closed 2.9 per cent lower, while Domain Holdings (ASX:DHG) closed 6.4 per cent lower. Health stocks also contributed to the losses, with Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals (ASX:CUV) closing 8.5 per cent lower following following an update to its pharmaceutical development portfolio. 

In headlines, gambling giant Aristocrat (ASX:ALL) closed 2.3 per cent lower after Gopher Investments approached its takeover target Playtech. Congolmrate giant Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) closed 0.5 per cent lower, following the scheme implantation deed with Australian Pharametucial industries (ASX:API) which closed 3.7 per cent higher. 

Meanwhile, travel stocks were a bright spot today as Sydney Airport (ASX:SYD) closed 2.8 per cent higher after agreeing to a takeover deal with Sydney Aviation Alliance. Qantas (ASX:QAN) also closed 3.7 per cent higher. 

Gold miners also made strong gains, with St Barbara (ASX:SBM) closing 5.2 per cent higher and Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) closing 3.8 per cent higher. Heavyweight miners were edging higher, led by BHP (ASX:BHP) closing 0.8 per cent higher. Energy stocks like Woodside (ASX:WPL) and Santos (ASX:STO) closed 3.2 and 2.9 per cent higher.

Local economic news

No eco news today. 

Company news

Sydney Airport (ASX:SYD) has agreed to a takeover offer from Sydney Aviation Alliance (SSA) following weeks of negotiations and due diligence.

Health insurer NIB’s (ASX: NHF) New Zealand subsidiary, nib NZ has agreed to acquire 100 per cent of shares in Kiwi Insurance for $43 million. 

Mining giant BHP (ASX:BHP) has signed an agreement to divest its 80 per cent interest in BHP Mitsui Coal (BMC), an operated metallurgical coal joint venture in Queensland.

Conglomerate giant Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) has entered into a scheme implementation deed with Australian Pharmaceutical. Industries (ASX:API)following the completion of due diligence in September. 

Gambling giant Aristocrat Leisure (ASX:ALL) noted that its takeover target Playtech has been approached by Gopher Investments to access due diligence information.

Futures

The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a fall of 39.00 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a fall of 10.25 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a fall of 65.25 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 7 points when the market next opens.

IPO

SiteMinder (ASX:SDR) started trading today. Their shares issued at $5.06, started trading at $6.51 and closed at $7.01.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Energy, up 1.9 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Information Technology, down 1.7 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Flight Centre Travel Group (ASX:FLT), closing 5.7 per cent higher at $21.12. It was followed by shares in St Barbara (ASX:SBM) and Webjet (ASX:WEB).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was PolyNovo (ASX:PNV), closing 9.7 per cent lower at $1.58. It was followed by shares in Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals (ASX:CUV) and Domain Holdings Australia (ASX:DHG).

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.32 per cent.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.53 per cent.
China’s Shanghai Composite has gained 0.12 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1819.94 an ounce.
Iron ore is 7.0 per cent lower at US$92.75 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.08 per cent.
Light crude is trading $1.07 higher at US$82.34 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 74.03 US cents.

Investor event

The last event for the year is coming up on Tuesday 16 of November with four companies presenting from financial services, wireless technology to pharmaceutical companies. Make your way to fnn.com.au to register for your free spot.