It has been a shocking start to the trading week for the Australian share market, following dismal leads from Wall Street on Friday. It is a sea of red across all sectors as Aussie investors heavily sell off their holdings on the back of renewed US rate hike fears. Just when we thought a September cut was off the cards, members of the Fed have made some Hawkish comments over the weekend indicating a hike is back on the table. The local bourse took a nose dive at the open and is now tracking 1.95 per cent lower at noon.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 104 points down at 5,235. On the futures market the SPI is 93 points lower.
Commercial finance decreased by 1.7 per cent for July, according to latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Meantime the total value of owner occupied housing commitments fell 0.1% in trend terms.
Lithium Power International Limited (ASX:LPI) has gone into a trading halt pending the release of an announcement relating to the company’s Maricunga Lithium Joint Venture. The company says it expects to make the announcement no later than prior to commencement of trading on Wednesday. Shares in Lithium Power International last traded at $0.40.
Novogen Limited (ASX:NRT) says it has received confirmation from the US FDA that the Investigational New Drug application for its cancer treatment, Cantrixil has been approved. The biotech company says the Phase 1 study of Cantrixil in patients with ovarian cancer can go ahead as planned in the fourth quarter of this year. Shares in Novogen are trading up 5 per cent at $0.10.
Best and worst performers
The sector with the least losses is Staples, losing 0.5 per cent to 8,770. Shares in Wesfarmers have risen 0.23 per cent and trading at $42.75. Shares in Coca-Cola are flat and Blackmores is weaker.
The worst performing sector is Energy, falling 3.3 per cent to 8044. Shares in Whitehaven Coal have fallen 6.19 per cent, trading at $2.12. Shares in Worley Parsons and Santos are also lower.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,327 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7534.