Struggling for direction: Aus shares flat at noon

Market Reports

by Carolyn Herbert

Following a rebound in US markets, the Australian share market opened slightly higher but has since lost momentum throughout the session and is tracking flat or 0.06 per cent higher at noon. Most sectors look fairly mixed, but utilities are the stand-out performer so far with gains in the likes of AGL and Spark Infrastructure. The materials and financials sectors are undecided with losses in the big miners BHP and Rio Tinto, as well as NAB and Westpac.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 3 points up at 5,409. On the futures market the SPI is 15 points lower.

Company news

AGL Limited (ASX:AGL) has today provided its earnings guidance for the financial year ended 30 June 2017. Assuming normal trading conditions for the remainder of the year, the company expects underlying profit to be between $720 million and $800 million. The electricity and gas provider says wholesale electricity margins and the delivery of operational transformation targets will be some of the major contributors to growth. Shares in AGL are trading up 4.78 per cent at $18.53.

SkyDive the Beach Group (ASX:SKB) has announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Raging Thunder Pty Ltd. Raging Thunder is a leading, multi-discipline adventure tourism company located in Cairns. The cost of the acquisition is $15.45 million and it is expected to be materially EPS accretive to SKB shareholders from settlement. Shares in SkyDive the Beach Group (ASX:SKB) last traded at 58 cents.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is utilities, gaining 1.6 per cent to 7,272. Shares in AGL have risen 4.78 per cent and trading at $18.53. Shares in Infigen Energy and Spark NZ are also stronger.

The worst performing sector is REITs, falling 0.5 per cent to 1,430. Shares in Westfield Corp have fallen 1.26 per cent, trading at $9.81. Shares in Vicinity Centres and Scentre Group are also lower.

Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,326 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7670.


Carolyn Herbert

Finance News Network
Carolyn joined FNN in August 2015 as the Head of News and also presented the Market at Midday and the Market Wrap. With more than five years of broadcast journalism experience, Carolyn has worked as a finance anchor on the Sky News Business channel and as an anchor and reporter for ABC News. She is also a qualified corporate lawyer specialising in IPOs, takeovers and mergers and acquisitions.