Despite more record leads from Wall Street, the Australian share market dropped at the open and has remained in the red in the first two hours of trade and is now tracking 0.83 per cent down at noon.
It comes as traders and investors absorbed the news that the Federal Reserve in the US would hike rates possibly this year and that it would start unwinding its balance sheet next month.
Also taking its toll today is a drop in the Iron Ore price which is again dragging down the big miners with the likes of Fortestcue Metals (ASX:FMG) wiping off 2.5 per cent.
Meantime, the only sector that’s seeing green is Energy after the oil price started to level out.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 47 points down at 5,862.
On the futures market the SPI is 25 points lower.
Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.71 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has gained 0.09 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.06 per cent.
GPT (ASX:GPT) has raised US$325 million (A$403 million) in a US private placement. The placement comprises of US$160 million of 12-year notes and US$165 million of 15-year notes. The funds will be used to repay borrowings under the group’s revolving bank facilities. Shares in GPT (ASX:GPT) are trading 0.91 per cent lower $4.91
IAG’s (ASX:IAG) Chief Risk Officer Clayton Whipp intends to retire by the end of March 2018. Recruitment for his position is now underway. Clayton Whipp joined the company in 2007, with positions spanning Group General Manager Corporate Finance and acting Chief Strategy Officer before his appointment as CRO in 2015. Shares in IAG (ASX:IAG) are trading 1.02 per cent lower to $6.30.
Titomic Limited (ASX:TTT) started trading today. The 3D Printing company floated with an issue price of 20 cents, opened at 37.5 cents and is currently trading at 42 cents.
Mayur Resources Limited (ASX:MRL) started trading today. The PNG mineral explorer and developer floated with an issue price of 40 cents, opened at 40 cents and is currently trading at 40.5 cents.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is Energy, gaining 0.3 per cent to 9,130. Shares in Santos (ASX:STO) have risen 2.19 per cent and trading at $4.00. Shares in Oil Search (ASX:OSH) and Worleyparsons (ASX:WOR) are also stronger.
The worst performing sector is Utilties, falling 1.69 per cent to 7,903. Shares in Spark Infrastructure Group (ASX:SKI) have fallen 2.42 per cent, trading at $2.42. Shares in AGL Energy (ASX:AGL). and Ausnet Services (ASX:AST) are also lower.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,300 an ounce and one Australian dollar is buying 80.07 US cents.