Weak start: Aus shares 0.45% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market started the trading week in the red, following lacklustre leads from Wall Street on Friday after Steve Bannon left President Donald Trump’s administration.

Following a dip at the open, the local bourse has been able to erase some of its losses, but selling across the market today has left the majority of sectors under the water. Bucking the trend though by the skin of its teeth are Staples, with the likes of Graincorp (ASX:GNC) up around 2.2 per cent.

But the stand out performer so far this session is Energy, after crude oil prices lifted, coupled with stellar reporting from Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) today and Whitehaven (ASX:WHC) last week.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 26 points down at 5,721 and now tracking 0.45 per cent lower at noon.

On the futures market the SPI is 38 points lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.31 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.54 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.23 per cent.

To company news

Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) has reported a rise of over 100 per cent in its net profit after tax attributable to members to $387.5 million in the full year to 30 June 2017. The oil and gas explorer and developer also bolstered its revenues by 17 per cent to $662.4 million. The company declared an interim and final dividend of 1 cent per share, fully franked. Shares in Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) are trading 7.66 per cent higher $0.67.

NIB Holdings (ASX:NHF) has seen a 29 per cent rise in net profit attributable to members to $119.6 million for the full 2017 financial year. The health insurance company saw an 8 per cent rise in revenue (from ordinary activities) for the 12 months to $2.04 billion, compared to FY16. The company also declared a dividend of 10.50 cents per share and an interim dividend of 8.50 cents per share, both fully franked. Shares in NIB Holdings (ASX:NHF) are trading 3.64 per cent lower at $5.83.

To the best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Energy, gaining 0.6 per cent to 8,935. Shares in Beach Energy Limited (ASX:BPT) have risen 7.66 per cent and trading at $0.67. Shares in Whitehaven Coal Limited (ASX:WHC) and Worleyparsons Limited (ASX:WOR) are also stronger.

The worst performing sector is Telcos, falling 1.09 per cent to 1,366. Shares in Vocus Group Limited (ASX:VOC) have fallen 16.3 per cent, trading at $2.69. It comes as Vocus Group Limited (ASX:VOC) has announced it has ceased discussions with two prospective bidders, KKR and Affinity Equity Partners. Shares in Speedcast International Limited (ASX:SDA) and Chorus Limited (ASX:CNU) are also lower.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,286 an ounce and one Australian dollar is buying 79.31 US cents.

Jessica Amir

Finance News Network
Jessica joined FNN in January 2017 after having worked in financial advising for seven years and in TV journalism for seven years, specialising in finance, equities and analysis. She has interviewed former Prime Ministers of Australia, Tony Abbott, Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd and ex Treasurer Jo Hockey. Jessica has worked as a journalist with Sky News Business, ABC 1, ABC's The Business, ABC24 and has also been a regional Channel 7 and 9 TV reporter with Prime7 and Win News.