Following negative leads from Wall Street, the Australian share market opened in the red and has continued to lose momentum in the first two hours of trade, tracking 0.79 per cent lower at noon. The financials space is proving to be the biggest drag on the index, with all of the big four banks in negative territory, dropping around1.2 per cent. Staples have also fared poorly this morning, with infant formula manufacturer Bellamy’s continuing to lose value, shedding around another 6 per cent.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 42 points down at 5,725. On the futures market the SPI is 46 points lower.
Sunland Group Limited (ASX:SDG) has announced earnings guidance for the first half of the 2017 financial year of around $3 million net profit after tax. The Group has provided its guidance in order to commence its share buy-back program. Sunland says it’s on track to achieve its full year earnings guidance of $35 million. Shares in Sunland Group are flat at $1.65.
First Graphite Limited (ASX:FGR) has signed a two year sales agreement with a Sri Lankan government owned company to purchase premium quality graphite. The strategic supply will underpin FGR’s low-cost graphene production strategies and allow for accelerated graphine production capacity. The company says the strong relationship with Sri Lankan authorities will give it a competitive edge. Shares in First Graphite are trading up 12.24 per cent at $0.11.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is Utilities, gaining 0.29 per cent to 7,978. Shares in Infigen Energy (ASX:IFN) have risen 2.26 per cent and trading at $0.91. Shares in AGL Energy (ASX:AGL) and APA Group (ASX:APA) are also stronger.
The worst performing sector is Financials excluding REITs, falling 1.5 per cent to 7,380. Shares in Bendigo Adelaide Bank (ASX:BEN) have fallen 2.63 per cent, trading at $12.96. Shares in FlexiGroup (ASX:FXL) and Suncorp (ASX:SUN) are also lower.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,194 an ounce and the Australian dollar is buying $US0.7478.