Following a flat close on Wall Street overnight, the Australian share market is also struggling for direction so far this session and is currently tracking 0.46 per cent lower at noon. The materials space is proving to be the biggest drag on the market so far with losses across the board; mining giants BHP and Rio Tinto have both shed over 3.5 per cent. A sea of red across the energy space as well with losses in Santos, Oil Search and Woodside. A different story however for the financials space with small gains in all of the big four banks.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 25 points lower at 5,332. On the futures market the SPI is down 24 points.
Unemployment has remained steady at 5.7 per cent for last month, with 10,800 new jobs added, according to latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected the read to come in at 5.8 per cent.
Vicinity Centres Limited (ASX:VCX)
says its previously announced asset divestment program of approximately $750 million to $1 billion has been extended to approximately $1.5 billion. The company says its extending the size of its program to enhance acquisition and expansion opportunities. Shares in Vicinity Centres are trading down 0.75 per cent at $3.29.
Capilano Honey Limited (ASX:CZZ)
has gone into a trading halt pending the release of a material announcement to the market to do with a proposed capital raising. The company says the halt will remain in place until the earlier of next Monday or when the announcement is released to the ASX. Shares in Capilano last traded at $21.12.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is Financials excluding REITS, gaining 0.48 per cent to 6,672. Shares in Henderson Group have risen 2.69 per cent and trading at $4.97. Shares in QBE Insurance and CYBG PLC are also stronger.
The worst performing sector is Materials, falling 2.66 per cent to 7,902. Shares in St Barbara have fallen 7.12 per cent, trading at $2.48. Shares in Evolution Mining and Newcrest Mining are also lower.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,257 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7228.