The S&P / ASX200 (ASX: XJO) has turned 0.3% higher in Wednesday’s trading session as investors assess the impact of mid-term elections in both the Senate and House of Representatives across the US Congress. US futures are also pointing to a positive open, although investors shouldn’t read too much into that given the amount of news set to hit the wires over the next 6 hours.
Some ASX shares are in reverse today though so let’s take a look at what may be causing investors to hit the sell button.
The AMP Limited (ASX: AMP) share price is down 2.2% to $2.65 today despite the embattled financial services business providing no specific news to the market. AMP has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons lately including accusations that it has undervalued its Life Insurance business in agreeing to sell it for $3.3 billion to UK business Resolution Life.
The South32 Ltd (ASX: S32) share price is down 1.5% to $3.63 despite the metals miner releasing no specific market update. South32’s core commodities are alumina, coal and manganese with the group recently ramping up its coking coal production. It also has a net cash balance of US$679 million, which means it has plenty of room to expand via acquisition as it has done recently with Arizona Mining and Eagle Downs. Today’s share price falls are probably little more than investors reacting to short-term falls in commodity prices.
BlueScope Steel Ltd (ASX: BSL) shares fell 2.1% to $14.01, although the stock is still marginally higher over the past 52 weeks. Over FY 2018 it posted free cash flow of $731 million and bought back $250 million worth of shares, while paying 14 cents in dividends. BlueScope has steel-making operations in Australia and the US via its North Star operations. It is leveraged to steel prices and investors should keep an eye on US President Trump’s plans to continue to impose imports on steel tariffs on certain countries including China.
The Slater & Gordon Limited (ASX: SGH) share price fell 3% to $2.66 and remains volatile thanks to a lack of liquidity and difficulty in valuing what’s left of the listed business. Slater & Gordon has divested most of its UK operations and is under the near total control of US distressed asset investors. The lack of liquidity and poor operating performance mean it looks a stock for investors to avoid.
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Motley Fool contributor Yulia Mosaleva has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.