NK tension weighs, RBA to meet today: Aus shares 0.3% down at noon

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market opened in the black, quickly diving into negative territory in the wake of heightened geopolitical tension. It also comes as Wall Street futures fell over 50 points, while the US market was closed for Labor Day.

Despite most sectors here trading in the red, a fresh bout of economic news helped to erase some early losses. In saying that though, it appears investors are still selling off and going into safe havens, such as Gold which is trading near a one year high.

Traders are also sitting on the fence ahead of the RBA’s meeting early this afternoon, about interest rates. 

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 17 points down or is 0.3 per cent lower at noon at 5,685.

On the futures market the SPI is 10 points lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.05 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has fallen 0.1 per cent.

Local economic news out today:

Lower export commodity prices tolled on the current account deficit (CAD) in the June quarter with the seasonally adjusted deficit rising by $4.8 billion to $9.6 billion in the June quarter 2017 according to Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The seasonally adjusted balance on goods and services surplus in the June quarter 2017 was $3 billion. It comes as exports of goods and services fell 3 per cent (or by $2.7 billion) while imports rose 2 per cent ($1.6 billion).

Meantime, in good news for the government, its revenue exceeded expenses by $7.8 billion. Taxation revenue rose by almost 11 per cent to $134.9 billion in the June quarter 2017.

Company news

Sky and Space Global (ASX:SAS) has completed the world’s first phone calls, instant messages, voice recordings and image transfers via nanosatellites. The tests were conducted through its 3-Diamonds nano-satellite technology, a standard smartphone and software as a service hardware app developed by the business. The firm which is planning a nanosatellite equatorial constellation says, the successful tests show its nano-satellites can deliver a full-suite of communication services. Shares in Sky and Space Global are 8.33 per cent higher at $0.20.

Tassal Group (ASX:TGR) has announced its Macquarie Harbour harvest sites in Tasmania have achieved re-certification. Australia’s leading salmon farmer says the re-certifications follows six-months of comprehensive tests by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC). It gives Tassal once again 100 per cent on its ASC standards on all stocked leases in the harbour. Shares in Tassal Group are 1.16 per cent lower at $3.85.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Materials, gaining 0.3 per cent to 10,630. Shares in Saracen Mineral Holdings Limited (ASX:SAR) have risen 2.44 per cent and trading at $1.47. Shares in Independence Group (ASX:IGO) and Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) are also stronger.

The worst performing sector is Utilites, falling 2.1 per cent to 8,177. Shares in Spark Infrastructure Group (ASX:SKI) have fallen 5.02 per cent, trading at $2.56. Shares in Agl Energy Limited (ASX:AGL) and Infigen Energy (ASX:IFN) are also lower.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,337 an ounce and one Australian dollar is buying 79.80 US cents.

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