Tuesday tumble: ASX tracking 0.2% lower at noon

Market Reports

by David Chau

Despite some positive first half results from a number of companies this morning (such as Premier Investments and TPG Telecom), Aussie shares fell this morning, and they are still in the red.

Utilities stocks are leading the charge today, while the worst performer today is Telcos.  However, Telstra is the only company in the telcos sector which fell.

The next worst performking sector was financials – with all the big four banks down between 0.2% and 0.8%. ANZ is bank with the least losses, while Westpac is the bottom performer today out of the big four.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 11 points down at 5,768. On the futures market the SPI is 9 points lower.

Local economic news

The ABS has released its residential price figures for the December quarter. As a whole, the country’s property prices rose 4.1%, the strongest quarterly growth recorded since the June 2015 quarter.

In the December quarter, Sydney prices rose 6.1%, followed by Melbourne at 6%.

However, on an annual basis, Melbourne house prices lifted the most – up 10.8% through the year, followed by Sydney, which rose 10.3%.

House prices in Perth fell 1.7%, Brisbane’s fell 1.3% Darwin fell 2.5% per cent, while prices rose in all other capital cities.

The average price of a home in Australia is now $656,800.

Company news

Spotless Group (ASX:SPO) has urged its shareholders to take no action on Downer EDI's $1.26 billion takeover offer, which it regards as “highly conditional”. This morning, mining services company Downer lodged the offer for the cleaning and catering company. Downer owns almost 20 per cent of Spotless and offered to buy all remaining Spotless shares at $1.15 each, which is a 59 per cent premium to value of the shares at the close of trade yesterday.

Shares in Spotless are trading 46.21% higher at $1.06.

The EURATOM Supply Agency, which is the governing body for all nuclear fuel transactions in the European Union, has welcomed the development of the Salamanca mine – by approving Berkeley Energia’s (ASX:BKY) offtake agreement for the sale of the first production of uranium. The agreement is for an average fixed price of US$43.78 per pound of contracted and optional volumes. Shares in Berkely Group are 1.67% higher at 92 cents.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Utilties, gaining 0.7 per cent to 8,453. Shares in Infigen have risen 2.48 per cent and trading at $1.03. Shares in AGL and DUET Group are also stronger.

The worst performing sector is Telcos, falling 0.7 per cent to 1,632. Shares in Telstra Group (ASX:VOC) have fallen 1.1 per cent, trading at $4.61. However, shares in Spark New Zealand and Vocus Communications have actually risen.

Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,235 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying 77.28 US cents.