Retailers feel the brunt of latest market plunge

The ASX dropped another 6 per cent this morning as a host of companies suspended their shares from trade or updated investors on the dire outlook.

Mar 23, 2020, updated Mar 23, 2020
ARA is bidding for 29 per cent of the shares it does not already own. (Photo: Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS)

ARA is bidding for 29 per cent of the shares it does not already own. (Photo: Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS)

Retailers felt the impact of the slump. JB Hi-Fi was down 22 per cent and Harvey Norman fell 10 per cent.

Casino operator Star Entertainment suspended its shares from trade after the Federal Government announced casinos, clubs and pubs would be shut down in an attempt to slow the spread of the corinavirus.

Oil and gas company Santos slashed its capital expenditure by $550 million (38 per cent) and would chase another $50 million reduction in 2020 cash production costs. It said it would target a 2020 free cash flow breakeven oil price of $25 per barrel.

Santos chief executive Kevin Gallagher said the company was confident in the business continuity and contingency plans that have been implemented.

“It is vitally important, in the current global and national crisis, that companies like Santos continue to provide secure energy supplies for our customers,” Gallagher said.

Ardent Leisure will close its Dreamworld and WhiteWater World theme parks. Buderim Ginger will close its Yandina tourist park. Village Roadshow announced the closure of its parks last week and said its Sea World Resort, as an accommodation provider, remained open at this stage. All cinemas operated by Village will close today.

Ardent said the company’s board was “deeply aware that the decision to close our parks will create a great deal of uncertainty for our team members, their families and the broader community”.

“The health and safety of our team members and guests is the Board’s number one priority.”

Ardent chairman Gary Weiss also said that all board members will not take fees until further notice.

Caltex has estimated that jet fuel demand reductions could be in the magnitude of 80 to 90 per cent for the period during which the announced level of flight cancellations are in place.

Stockland has withdrawn its guidance.

Regional Express (Rex) has announced that it will shut down its expansive regular public transport air services in all states, except in Queensland, where the services are underwritten by the Queensland Government.






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