Another disappointing follow-on for the Australian share market after yesterday’s dismal close. The local bourse took a weak lead from Wall Street and dropped like a stone at around 11am and is now tracking 0.32 per cent lower around lunch time. The energy space is leading the losses after the price of Brent crude once again took a turn for the worse overnight, with Santos and Origin Energy leading the losses down around 2.5 and 3.6 per cent respectively. The shining light so far has been the Telcos space with a sea of green across the sector.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 18 points lower at 5,416. On the futures market the SPI is 9 points lower.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics has reported that The Performance of Manufacturing index fell 9.5 points to 46.9 for the month of August. A reading above 50.0 indicates expansion. Private New Capital Expenditure has fallen 5.4 per cent in the June quarter. Expenditure for buildings and structures fell by 10.6 per cent for the quarter seasonally adjusted. Retail trade figures also came in for July relatively unchanged (0%) following a rise of 0.1 per cent in June.
Lithium Power International Limited (ASX:LPI) has announced that the legal and technical due diligence regarding the Maricunga Joint Venture with Minera Salar Blanco has now been satisfactorily completed. The Maricunga project is regarded as the highest quality pre- production lithium asset in Chile, with characteristics comparable to the world- leading Atacama lithium brine deposit. Shares in Lithium Power International are trading up 23.33 per cent at $0.37.
Industria REIT Limited (ASX:IDR) has announced the acquisition of WesTrac Newcastle for $158.6 million. The property is a best-in-class and purpose built distribution , training and maintenance facility for WesTrac, Australia’s largest dealer of Caterpillar equipment. The company says the property generates a high initial yield of 7.25 per cent growing at the greater of 3 per cent or CPI per annum. Shares in Industria REIT last traded at $2.14.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is Telcos, gaining 0.4 per cent to 1,951. Shares in Vocus have risen 1.63 per cent and trading at $7.82. Shares in TPG Telecom and Telstra are also stronger.
The worst performing sector is Energy, falling 1.8 per cent to 8,270. Shares in Whitehaven Coal have fallen 4.1 per cent, trading at $1.87. Shares in Beach Energy and Origin Energy are also lower.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,311 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7542.