It has been another lack-lustre start to the trading session for the Australian share market, falling into the red at the open then managing to track slightly higher in the first two hours of trade, but is now tracking flat or 0.01 per cent higher at lunch time. The materials space along with the telcos are proving to be the biggest drag on the market so far, with losses in BHP and TPG Telecom.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 1 point up at 5,465. On the futures market the SPI is 2 points lower.
Western Areas Limited (ASX:WSA) has announced it has negotiated and entered into an Offtake Contract with BHP Billiton Nickel West. WSA will provide up to 10,000 tonnes of nickel contained in concentrate per annum, with a 30,000 tonne aggregate limit. The company says the contract with Nickel West will require no changes to existing bulk logistics infrastructure already in place. Shares in Western Areas are trading up 0.3 per cent at $3.29.
Galaxy Resources Limited (ASX:GXY) says trucking of lithium concentrate production from its Mt Cattlin project to Esperance Port is expected to commence by the end of this week, with the first shipment to customers anticipated by the end of December. The lithium explorer says it has given formal instruction to Mitsubishi Corporation to nominate the vessel, for its first shipment of final product from the port of Esperance. Shares in Galaxy Resources are trading up 2.44 per cent at $0.42.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is REITs, gaining 0.6 per cent to 1,308. Shares in Vicinity Centres have risen 1.42 per cent and trading at $2.85. Shares in Cromwell Property and Mirvac Group are also stronger.
The worst performing sector is Telcos, falling 1.7 per cent to 1,770. Shares in Vocus Communications have fallen 20.49 per cent, trading at $4.58. Shares in TPG Telecom and Spark NZ are also lower.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,192 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7484.