Global markets were mixed overnight as markets swung between gains and losses as the market continues to gauge the depth and duration the coronavirus' impact will have on the global economy.
US and German health officials are now warning that the outbreak is on track to become a pandemic as the number of cases grow. Greece and Spain reported their first cases while Spain locked down a seaside resort hotel with about 1,000 guests and workers inside, South Korea reported its national total rose to more than 1,000.
Stock in Focus: InvoCare (IVC:ASX)
In another difficult day of trade, Invocare was one of the best performers on the ASX yesterday jumping +13.6% after reporting a solid result for the 2019 financial year. Australia's biggest funerals group reported a net profit after tax of $59.2m, which jumped +54.6% from the previous year with death rates climbing by +2.9% after a 3.3% decline in 2018.
The result was helped by favourable trends, which is likely to continue over the next decade as well as their $200 million modernisation program which should set the company up for robust growth over the next few years.
We currently have a BUY rating on IVC.
Members should look out for a full update on IVC to be released in our weekly report.
Australia & New Zealand Market Movers
The Australian market ended Tuesday down (ASX 200 -2.3%), extending its losses for the week. A number of index heavyweights suffered heavy losses. Dragging the local market down was CSL which dipped -4.1 %, BHP Group -2.2% lower, Telstra declined -2.8%, and Woodside Petroleum lost another -3%. The banking sector was in the red as well as the Tech sector with investors moving away from riskier assets. Woolworth's fell on its half year result, after reporting a -7.7% decline in net profit, partially booking $80m to repay underpaid staff over the last nine years.
The New Zealand market fell yesterday (NZX50 -1.6%) for the third day in a row. Travel and transport stocks continued to remain under pressure with Ports of Tauranga, Tourism Holdings, Air NZ and Auckland International Airport were all down. Metlifecare shares were unchanged after reporting a 5% decline in underlying earnings as its development margins came under pressure from rising construction costs, as the takeover bid at $7 helped support the stock in any sell-off pressure. Scales Corp posted the day’s biggest gain, up +2.3% as the fruit exporter reported a +2% increase in underlying annual profit, and investors remained optimistic about its prudent approach to merger and acquisitions and its $105 million war chest.
3 Things Markets Will be Watching this Week
- Coronavirus headlines are likely to sway investor sentiment.
- Local earnings season across Australia & NZ continues this week.
- Overseas earnings season winds down.
Have a Great Day,