With weak leads from the US and Europe, the Australian share market opened lower and is almost 0.3 per cent down at noon.
The miners saw losses today despite the iron ore price recovering slightly overnight. The moves come amid growing pessimism from both government and industry forecasters with a range of iron ore price expectations pushing below $US40 tonne for this year and next.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 17 points down at 5,943. On the futures market the SPI is 15 points lower.
The National Australia Bank Limited (ASX:NAB)
Monthly business survey have shown a slight uptick in sentiment and conditions for March with its confidence index up to 3 points and conditions improving pushing to 6 points.
Buru Energy Limited (ASX:BRU)
has executed a Native Title Agreement with the Yawuru People of Western Australia to secure a production license for its Ungani oil field. The oil and gas explorer says it and its joint venture partner Misubishi Corporation will now be able to complete their Ungani production licence application with WA regulators. The company says the traditional owners will reap significant benefits with a process for managing cultural, heritage and environmental matters also included. Shares in Buru Energy are trading up 0.76 per cent at $0.33.
Anteo Diagnostics Limited (ASX:ADO)
has launched a research partnership with the University of Queensland for in vivo applications of its Mix&Go technology. CEO Geoff Cumming says the partnership is a strong endorsement for Mix&Go and should also deliver additional data that confirms the broad applicability of the platform in the in vivo space. The partnership is to be funded by the University’s Collaboration and Industry Engagement Fund grants program. Shares in Anteo are trading up 4.3 per cent at $0.10
Best and worst performers
To the best and worst performers: The best performing sector is energy, gaining 0.3 per cent to 11,355. Shares in Karoon Gas Australia Limited (ASX:KAR)
have risen 4.22 per cent and trading at $2.47. Shares in Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (ASX:LNG)
and Oil Search Limited (ASX:OSH)
are also stronger.
The worst performing sector is consumer staples, falling 1.2 per cent to 9,329. Shares in Metcash Limited (ASX:MTS)
have fallen 2.08 per cent, trading at $1.42. Shares in Bega Cheese Limited (ASX:BGA)
and Woolworths Limited (ASX:WOW)
are also lower.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,201 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7608