Following a further slump in the energy sector in overseas markets, the Australian share market has taken a nose-dive this session, wallowing deep in negative territory or 0.75 per cent lower at noon. Further declines in the oil price have seen the likes of Santos losing close to 3 per cent and Woodside shedding 2 per cent. No relief for the financials or materials sectors either with losses across the big miners BHP and Rio Tinto, as well as the big four banks.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 39 points down at 5,279. On the futures market the SPI is 37 points lower.
The Reserve Bank of Australia will meet for its November board meeting at 2.30pm, just half an hour prior to the race that stops the nation. There is only a 4 per cent chance the central bank will cut interest rates, with expectations it will keep rates on hold at 1.5 per cent.
Galaxy Resources Limited (ASX:GXY) says construction at its Mt Cattlin lithium project in Western Australia is nearing completion. The soon-to-be lithium producer says ore commissioning is planned to commence two weeks ahead of the revised schedule released to the market on the 6th of September 2016, with spodumene concentrate production anticipated to begin by 15th November 2016. Shares in Galaxy Resources are trading down 1.43 per cent at $0.35.
MMJ Phytotech Limited (ASX:MMJ) has gone into a trading halt pending the release of announcement by the company. The medicinal cannabis company says the announcement relates to a material change to the company’s proposed transaction with Top Strike Resources. MMJ’s securities will remain in pre-open until the earlier of the release of the announcement or the commencement of trade on Thursday. Shares in MMJ Phytotech last traded at $0.23.
Best and worst performers
The sector with the least losses is REITs, losing 0.2 per cent to 1,313. Shares in Iron Mountain have risen 1.88 per cent and trading at $43.87. Shares in National Storage and Scentre Group are also stronger.
The worst performing sector is Energy, falling 1.17 per cent to 8,126. Shares in Santos have fallen 2.8 per cent, trading at $3.47. Shares in Whitehaven Coal and Woodside are also lower.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,277 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7601.