Trading above 6,000 milestone: Aus shares 0.13% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market is trading in the red but at record highs. Yesterday, the XJO broke through the 6,000 point milestone for the first time in 10 years yesterday.

At the open today, the local bourse sank like a rock, shedding over 0.2 per cent in the first 20 minutes after Wall Street closed mostly lower, while the iron ore price slipped over 1 per cent, dragging down the big miners, such as South32 (ASX:S32), BHP (ASX:BHP) and Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) which have all chimed about 1 per cent lower after the commodity price fell.

We however have started to claw back some of today’s minor losses with Property, Financials and Utilities pushing up.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 6 points down or 0.13 per cent lower at 6,008.

On the futures market the SPI is 18 points lower.

Company news

Dreamworld owner, Ardent Leisure (ASX:AAD) advised its group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Simon Kelly has resigned. Although the board was disappointed with his resignation, it immediately appointed its Chief Financial Officer, Geoff Richardson as Interim CEO until a permanent replacement is hired. It’s just a year after four people tragically lost their lives at Dreamworld’s Thunder Rapids ride, with the theme park’s trading conditions remaining challenged. Despite that, the group’s trading broadly in line with its EBITDA expecations. Shares in Ardent Leisure (ASX:AAD) are trading 3.73 per cent lower at $1.80.

Global cement manufacturer, James Hardie Industries (ASX:JHX) has inked a deal that will see it become a leading building material business in Europe. The business will buy Europe’s leading producer of Gypsum, for about US$549 million. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this financial year. James Hardie says it diversifies its presence, product and portfolio, while also giving exposure to the affluent european construction market. Shares in James Hardie Industries (ASX:JHX) are trading 1.51 per cent lower at $18.95.

Automotive aftercare and accessory company, AMA Group (ASX:AMA) says it needs its takeover target, 4WD (ASX:4WD) to commission an independent engagement report (IER) given that its holding in the company is over 31 per cent (31.29 per cent). Shares in AMA Group (ASX:AMA) are trading about 1 per cent lower at $0.98.

And Virgin Australia, (ASX:VAH) appointed two new independent directors, with one being the Chairman of Senex Energy (ASX:SXY). It also announced stronger passenger revenue and flying customer numbers in the first quarter of this financial year.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Reits, gaining 0.7 per cent to 1,381. Shares in Westfield Corporation (ASX:WFD) have risen 2.97 per cent and trading at $7.98. Shares in Scentre Group (ASX:SCG) and Vicinity Centres (ASX:VCX) are also stronger.

The worst performing sector is Materials, falling 1.3 per cent to 11,072. Shares in Orica (ASX:ORI) have fallen 4.1 per cent, trading at $18.50. Shares in Independence Group (ASX:IGO) and Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) are also lower.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,277 an ounce,
The oil price eased slightly, but is still holding near two-year highs, and
One Australian dollar is buying 76.51 US cents.

Jessica Amir

Finance News Network
Jessica is a senior finance journalist and presents bulletins including the Market Outlook, Market at Midday and Market Wrap. She also interviews ASX CEOs and leading fund managers. She joined FNN in January 2017 with over six years of broadcast journalism experience including with Sky News Business, ABC 1, ABC's The Business and ABC24. She’s also worked as a TV reporter for Prime 7 and WIN News. Jessica has worked in financial planning for over six years with leading wealth managers and in real estate.