It has been a disappointing start to the Tuesday trading session for the Australian share market, despite a flat finish on Wall Street. The local bourse dropped into the red at the open and has continued to lose momentum in the first two hours of trade, tracking 0.97 per cent lower at noon. While most sectors are in negative territory, the Consumer Discretionaries are leading the losses with a sea of red across the board. Financials are also performing poorly with losses of between 1 and 1.5 per cent in all of the big four banks. However the property space is bucking the trend, with solid gains in REITs.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 56 points down at 5,700. On the futures market the SPI is 49 points lower.
Checking in with how Asian markets are tracking now, Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.8 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.2 per cent and the Shanghai Composite was flat.
Spotless Group Limited (ASX:SPO) says it has reluctantly informed its shareholders to accept Downer EDI’s (ASX:DOW) hostile takeover bid for the cleaning services company. Downer EDI now holds a relevant interest of 67.28 per cent in Spotless. Spotless Group says given a change in circumstances and board composition, it is more difficult to form a view that Spotless will deliver greater returns to shareholders on its own. Shares in Spotless Group are trading up 0.22 per cent at $1.15.
Wellard Limited (ASX:WLD) has provided a market update saying its losses for the second half of FY17 are likely to be significantly higher than the $16 million loss reported in the company’s first half results. The cattle exporter says there are a number of reasons for the increased loss, including a reduction in meat demand from South-East Asia and high cattle prices in Australia. Wellard will release its final FY16/17 results at the end of August. Shares in Wellard are trading down 20.51 per cent at $0.15.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is REITs, gaining 0.7 per cent to 1,303. Shares in Scentre Group (ASX:SCG) have risen 1.74 per cent and trading at $4.09. Shares in Vicinity Centres (ASX:VCX) and Shopping Centres Australasia (ASX:SCP) are also stronger.
The worst performing sector is Financials, falling 1.7 per cent to 6,418. Shares in Eclipx Group (ASX:ECX) have fallen 2.52 per cent, trading at $3.68. Shares in Bendigo and Adelaide Bank (ASX:BEN) and Suncorp Group (ASX:SUN) are also lower.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,238 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7847.