It has been a lack-lustre start to the week for the Australian share market, following mixed leads from Wall Street on Friday.
The local bourse dropped into the red at the open and has continued to track sideways in the first two hours of trade and is now 0.33 per cent lower at noon.
Telcos are proving to be the biggest weight on the index so far with losses in Telstra Corporate (ASX:TLS), Vocus Group Limited (ASX:VOC), TPG Telecom Limited (TPM). Health Care is the only stand out performer so far, while A-REITs and Industrials are pushing to gain ground back and get out of red territory.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 19 points down at 5,780.
On the futures market the SPI is 12 points lower.
Kidman Resources Limited (ASX:KDR) says its continuing to expand its WA lithium project, with a farm-in deal immediately adjacent to its Earl-Grey lithium deposit. The earn-in agreement is, with nickel producer Western Areas (ASX:WSA) on 19 tenements in the highly prospective greenstone belt. Kidman will issue 6.3 million shares to WSA, escrowed for six months. Shares in Kidman Resources are trading 8.75% higher at 43 cents.
Hazer Group Limited (ASX:HZR) has successfully secured $5 million via a strategic placement to shareholders of Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN). With a market capitalisation of more than $2 billion, Mineral Resources has been a long-term investor in Hazer Group since it listed in 2015. The placement will see Mineral Resources become a substantial holder of Hazer Group, with a holding of 14 per cent. Under the placement more than 8 million shares will be issued for 60 cents each. Shares in Hazer Group are 1.6% higher 64 cents.
The best and worst performers
The best performing sector is Health care, gaining 0.84 per cent to 22,124. Shares in Primary Health Care (ASX:PRI) have risen 3.65 per cent and trading at $3.41. Shares in Japara Healthcare (ASX:JHC) and CSL Limited (ASX:CSL) are also stronger.
The worst performing sector is Telcos, falling 1.13 per cent to 1,659. Shares in Vocus Group (ASX:VOC) have fallen 1.42 per cent, trading at $4.17. Shares in Telstra (ASX:TLS) and Spark New Zealand (ASX:SPK) are also lower.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,231 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying 77.05 US cents.