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ASX 200 falls 0.7%, UK and travel shares drop

ASX 200
Credit: Cimexus

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) fell by around 0.7% today to 5,784 points.

Share market COVID-19 fears

This followed on from a tough day for the European share market, particularly in the UK as it starts reintroducing restrictions to try to halt the spread of COVID-19.

According to reporting by the BBC, the UK coronavirus alert level is moving to level 4. That means that transmission is ‘high or rising exponentially’. The government’s scientific adviser warned there could be 50,000 new coronavirus cases a day by mid-October without further action.

The number of COVID-19 confirmed cases in the UK on Monday was another 4,368 with the number rapidly rising compared to previous weeks.

Within the ASX 200 the Virgin Money UK CDI (ASX: VUK) share price fell by 5% with investors worrying about what may happen to the UK economy if there’s another lockdown.

Travel shares were also some of the worst performers within the ASX 200.

At the bottom of the performance table was the Corporate Travel Management Ltd (ASX: CTD) share price which fell 5.8% and the Webjet Limited (ASX: WEB) share price dropped 6%.

As a hedge, investors seem to have sent the share price of ventilator business Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corp Ltd (ASX: FPH) going up by 4%.

The best performing business in the ASX 200 today was the Xero Limited (ASX: XRO) share price which rose 4.4%. Healthcare business Healius Ltd (ASX: HLS) also rose by around 4% today.  

New Hope Corporation Limited (ASX: NHC)

The coal miner reported its FY20 result today.

New Hope is a low-cost coal producer, but it still experienced a tough year.

The business reported that total tonnes produced grew 4% to 11.3Mt with a full year contribution from its Bengalla ownership. Total tonnes sold increased by 6% to 11.5Mt.

It reported that profit after income tax (before non regular items) dropped 69% to $84 million. Revenue from operations dropped 17% to $1.1 billion with operating earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) dropping 44% to $290 million.

Earnings per share (EPS) before non regular items also dropped 69% to 10 cents.

The New Hope board decided not to pay a final dividend. This meant that the full year dividend was 6 cents per share, a reduction of 65%.

New Hope Chair Rob Millner explained to investors in the chair review that between March 2020 and July 2020 the Newcastle coal price fell around 33% with weaker demand and a lower US dollar.

The statutory profit after tax was actually a $156.8 million loss. This was due to a large number of impairments relating to coal producing and exploration assets, impairment of goodwill, impairment of oil producing and exploration assets. There were also New Acland ramp down costs, redundancies and ERP implementation costs.

New Hope said that demand for high quality thermal coal remains strong across Asia.

Bubs Australia Ltd (ASX: BUB) share purchase plan (SPP) delay

Bubs said today that due to delays being experienced with Australia Post deliveries during COVID-19 and feedback from shareholders, the closing date for the SPP is being extended by two weeks until 7 October 2020. This will give shareholders enough time to consider the terms and conditions in the SPP.

As a reminder, eligible shareholders can apply for up to $30,000 of new shares at an offer price of $0.80.

Bubs aims to raise $10 million and the offer is not underwritten.

The Bubs share price fell 2.5% today.

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Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of Xero. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Corporate Travel Management Limited and Webjet Ltd. 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.

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