The ASX was down 18.5pts, or 0.32 per cent, at 5696.6pts on Thursday. Commodity prices fell overnight, bringing the Metals and Mining sector down 1.64 per cent as well as the broader Materials which fell 1.18 per cent. Healt Care dropped more than 1% as well despite gains from Sirtex Medical.
Shares on the ASX fell sharply in the opening minutes of trading before recovering partially. It dropped again in the early afternoon and stayed lower before partially recovering again in the last hour of trading. The Australian dollar broke past resistance at the US$0.80 mark, jumping 1.8 per cent to US$0.8124 overnight. The AUD is currently sitting around US$0.8118 around 4:22pm (AEST).
International markets were mixed but mostly down the previous day. In the US, markets reacted to weak retail data, with the Dow Jones falling 0.04 per cent and the S&P 500 falling 0.03 per cent. In Europe, German shares continued to face headwinds after the bond volatility debacle. The DAX was down 1.05 per cent and the FTSE 100 was up 0.23 per cent. In Asia, the Nikkei 225 has more than wiped out yesterday’s gains, falling 0.98 per cent near the end of trading on Thursday. Chinese markets are seeing some volatility. The Hang Seng was originally up in the early afternoon, but is now down 0.07 per cent. The Shanghai Composite is down 0.31 per cent so far on Thursday.
Sirtex Medical Limited (ASX:SRX) was up $7.02, or 35.14 per cent, at $27.00 per share. The company reported on Thursday that its cancer treatment showed improvements to both the length of the treatment and the overall health of the affected areas.
ResMed (ASX:RMD) was down $1.52, or 18.42 per cent, at $6.73 per share. Shares of ResMed plummeted after the company released a report showing its heart disease and sleep apnoea clinical trial put patient’s health at risk.
Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) was down 20c, or 7.97 per cent, at $2.31 per share. Commodity prices fell over night and brought the Mining sector down with it.
Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC) was down 24c, or 0.72 per cent, at $33.03 per share. Following yesterday’s trend, Westpac has fallen more than the other major Australian banks.
Author: Matthew Dibb
May 14, 2015
Matthew has an extensive track record in equity markets and derivative advisory. Spanning a career in several investment banks and prviate wealth groups including Macquarie Bank, his specialist knowledge relates to capital market advisory and equity market analytics. Matthew has a diploma in Financial Advisory, Applied Finance and is ADA 1 & 2 accredited.