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SA firms' share price plunge

Business

South Australia’s largest company, Santos, is among several major local companies to have seen their share prices plunge in recent months, as the global coronavirus and oil glut crises spook investors, with the State Government today foreshadowing a stimulus package for the state.

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The Adelaide-based oil and gas giant’s share price fell from $6.70 per share on Friday to $4.89 yesterday before recovering slightly to be $5.10 at noon today.

Santos shares had experienced two major bursts of growth since the beginning of last year – rising to $7.44 in April, and rising again to a peak of $9 on January 15, before tracking downwards to yesterday’s $4.89 low.

The company is among several SA-based firms to lose significant ground over the past one-to-two months.

Others in that category include:

The Australian Stock Exchange experienced its biggest plunge since the global financial crisis yesterday, falling seven per cent amid concerns about the mounting impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus and an historic drop in oil prices.

The market suffered another major fall at opening this morning after panic selling smashed global equities markets overnight.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 106.8 points, or 1.8 per cent, at 5867.4 at noon today after plunging more than 3.5 per cent in the opening minutes of trade this morning.

The broader All Ordinaries index was up 112.9 points, or 1.9 per cent, at 5935.3 as banks and oil stocks gained.

US President Donald Trump today announced details of a stimulus package to help business overcome the virus impact.

This includes payroll tax relief and loans for small business.

His announcement came after stocks on Wall Street plummeted so fast on what traders are now calling “Black Monday” they triggered the first automatic halt in trading in more than two decades.

Premier Steven Marshall said today Cabinet was considering a “very serious stimulus package” to complement a federal package.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said today he expects the market to respond in a less volatile way when more data is available.

He pointed out coronavirus had a lower death rate than other illnesses such as SARS.

“This has a fixed life, this virus. It will run its course,” said Morrison.

A stimulus package will be delivered this week, he said.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann told Sky News people should focus on the fundamentals.

“There’s no question that there will be a recovery after we have gone through what unquestionably is going to be a very challenging period,” he said.

“And on the other side there will be a great opportunity for Australians to get ahead.”

The Aussie dollar was buying 66.03 US cents at 10am today, up from 65.46 US cents at the market close on Monday.

– with AAP

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