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ASX down 0.3%, Star Entertainment dives

Daily Market Update (45)

ASX lower, Ampol takes Z, IAG’s pandemic reprieve
 
The S&P/ASX200 (ASX: XJO) strengthened into the close, managing a loss of just 0.3% to start the week.
 
Behind the headline though was a two-speed market with only the energy and materials sector finishing higher, and significantly so, up 1.2 and 1.3% to the positive.
 
The global energy crisis is now the motivating factor for markets with concerns the cost of oil may slow down the economic recovery, Woodside (ASX: WPL) continues to benefit, finishing 0.4% higher.
 
Gold miners benefitted
 from a weaker AUD, with Newcrest (ASX: NCM) up 1.9% along with Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO).

Insurance Australia Group 
(ASX: IAG) rose by 3.1% after a key court proceeding found in favour of the insurer for a lot of pending pandemic shutdown cases.
 
Ampol 
(ASX: ALD) rallied 2.9% after gaining approval for its acquisition of NZ-listed Z energy for $1.86 billion.
 
The deal sees the group take ownership of NZ’s largest fuel distributor, holding a market share of over 40% and is expected to deliver significant synergies and free cash flow generation post 2022.
 
Falling Star loses Crown, API upgrades guidance, CBA staff underpaid
 
After throwing their hat in the ring as the ‘white knight’ to Crown Resorts (ASX: CWN) before pulling their offer, shares in Star Entertainment (ASX: SGR) fell 22.9% on Monday.
 
The selloff came after a media investigation apparently under covered a number of similarities to the issued facing Crown along with insufficient Anti-Money Laundering procedures; management have denied the claims, but it looks set to undergo a lengthy investigation which never ends well.
 
NZ’s Sky City (ASX: SKC) also fell by 5.4%. Takeover target Australian Pharmaceuticals (ASX: API) upgraded guidance, suggesting earnings of $70 million were more likely following much stronger than expected performances from their Priceline network and elevated distribution volumes.
 
Platinum Asset Management (ASX: PTM) fell 5.6% after Friday’s late announcement regarding an acceleration of outflows.
 
US markets weaker ahead of inflation, earning season, Southwest Airlines grounded
 
The key US markets were weaker overnight, with the bond market on hold for Columbus Day.
 
Share markets all fell led by the Dow Jones, down 0.7%, as oil prices rises continue to bite.
 
The S&P 500 fell 0.6% and the Nasdaq outperformed falling 0.6% with investors waiting for earnings season to commence to get an understanding of how the economic recovery is progressing.
 
Shares in Merck (NYSE: MRK) fell despite submitted an application for their COVID-19 treatment pill following completion of a stage three trial that reduced hospitalisation risk by as much as 50%.
 
A changing of the guard is occurring at private equity giant KKR & Co, with the original founders Henry Kravis and George Roberts stepping down amid the biggest bull market for private equity in decades.
 
South West Airlines (NYSE: LUV) fell over 3% after cancelling over 2,000 over the weekend, hit by poor weather, staff issues and capacity.

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