Headline indices of the Australia share market closed down for the fourth time in five days on Thursday, 18 July 2019, on tracking losses on Wall Street overnight as concerns that the protracted trade stand-off between the United States and China could hurt U. S. corporate earnings. Meanwhile selloff pressures mounted after a flat unemployment figure reduced the likelihood of the Reserve Bank of Australia using its policy ammunition in the short-term. ASX blue-chips were mostly lower, with losses from construction giant CIMIC Group and mining titan BHP being notable losers. At closing bell, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index fell 24.2 points, or 0.4%, to 6649.1 while the broader All Ordinaries lost 28.7 points, or 0.4%, to end the session at 6735.4.
Energy stocks were broadly weaker.
Beach Energy slid 5.4% to A$1.86, Oil Search dropped 4.5% to A$6.65, Whitehaven Coal dipped 2.7% to A$3.63, AGL Energy fell 1.8% to A$20.22 and Santos lost 1.7% to A$6.92.
CIMIC Group plummeted 19% to A$37.09 after reporting weaker first -half profits in its construction business. A decline in the Hong Kong market was blamed for the weakness, which saw construction profits fall 15% in the first six months of the year.
Superloop shares fell 5.7% to A$0.99 after flagging uncertainty about achieving its guidance in the next 12 months. Despite saying there was "insufficient certainty" surrounding its the previous 2019-20 guidance, the company added it was "not yet in a position to update this previous guidance."
Gold miners were firmer after the price of the precious metal rose firmly. Evolution Mining advanced 5.2% to $4.66, Saracen Mineral Holdings rose 5% to A$4.03, Northern Star Resources added 4.4% to close at $12.71, St Barbara firmed 2.7% to A$3.37, Resolute Mining climbed 4.2% to A$1.63, Regis Resources lifted 3.1% to A$6.08 and Newcrest Mining closed 1.3% higher at A$32.23.
Lendlease shares rose 4.8% to A$14.77 after landing a A$21 billion deal with Google that will see the global property player develop a large swathe of Google-held land in the San Francisco Bay area. The deal is the largest Lendlease has ever struck.
CURRENCY NEWS: The Australian dollar changed hands at 70.367 US cents, from 70.06 US cents on Wednesday.
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