Flat Friday: Aus shares track 0.03% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Carolyn Herbert

The Australian share market opened in positive territory this Friday session following a recovery on Wall Street in late afternoon trade. However the local bourse has lost that momentum around lunch time with losses in the big banks and materials stocks weighing heavily on the index. At noon the market is tracking practically flat or 0.03% lower. However it’s a sea of green across the screen for the telcos space, with Telstra and TPG Telecom leading the charge.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 2 points down at 5,434. On the futures market the SPI is up 1 point.

Company news

The Star Entertainment Group Limited (ASX:SGR) has announced that the Queensland Government has granted a new casino license, under which casino operations can commence upon completion of the integrated resort at Queen’s Wharf in Brisbane. The company says the casino licence will be issued to a joint venture entity of which The Star has a 50 per cent interest. The new casino licence triggers a payment of $77 million by The Star to the Queensland government. Shares in Star Entertainment Group are trading down 0.69 per cent at $5.77.

Lithium Power International Limited (ASX:LPI) says it has successfully completed an institutional placement to raise $12 million in two tranches, together with a share purchase plan to raise $2 million of which the first $1 million is underwritten. The capital raising means the company will be fully funded for Phases 1 and 2 of the development of the high-grade Maricunga Lithium Brine Project in Argentina. Shares in Lithium Power International are trading down 18.28 per cent at $0.38.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Industrials, gaining 1.08 per cent to 5,200. Shares in Qantas have risen 3.16 per cent and trading at $3.26. Shares in Cleanaway and CIMIC Group are also stronger.

The worst performing sector is Materials, falling 1 per cent to 8,943. Shares in Iluka Resources have fallen 5.11 per cent, trading at $5.57. Shares in Independence Group and Sandfire Resources are also lower.

Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,256 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7571.