Following weak leads from US markets, the Australian share market plunged at the open and is now tracking 0.29% per cent lower at noon. Energy stocks, both locally and overseas, have tumbled after the price of Brent Crude fell to around $US43 a barrel. It is also a sea of red for the financials and materials sectors. However, gold stocks are bucking the trend, despite a small decrease in the price of the precious metal.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is down 16 points at 5,518. On the futures market the SPI is 9 points lower.
Seymour White Limited (ASX:SWL) has been awarded a $63 million contract. This contract is for Seymour White to deliver early works for the Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway Upgrade in Northern NSW. This brings the total of new contracts to $119 million, and increases the Group’s order book to $465 million.
Shares in Seymour White are trading up 4.76 per cent at 77 cents.
Dark Horse Resources Limited (ASX:DHR) has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to acquire Argentinean company, Oronegro. Oronegro holds licences to explore and develop lithium and other minerals covering prospective districts in Argentina’s San Luis and Cordoba provinces. The company says the relevant properties have good access and infrastructure support for exploration activities on a year round basis.
Shares in Dark Horse Resources are trading up 200 per cent at 1.5 cents.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), gaining 0.3 per cent to 1,550. Shares in Scentre Group have risen 1.14 per cent and are trading at $5.31. Shares in Dexus and BWP Trust are also stronger.
The worst performing sector is Energy, falling 1.7 per cent to 8,399. Shares in Santos have fallen 3.53 per cent, and are trading at $4.50. Shares in Whitehaven Coal and Origin Energy are also lower.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,319 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7487