Shy weekly start, but holding above 6,000: Aus shares 0.25% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market dropped at the open kicking off the trading week on the back foot, following soft leads from Wall Street after the Dow Jones snapped its longest winning streak in 4 years.

The ASX 200 is still in record territory, at 6,015 but seeing a lot of volatility. Falls in financials are keeping us under water after two of the major banks, Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC) and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX:ANZ) went ex-dividend today.

Healthcare, Telcos, Industrials and Reits also trailing behind financials and trading lower, while Materials are seeing the most gains.

Shares in drilling services company, Boart Longyear (ASX:BLY) are trading 18 per cent higher, while the iron ore giants, Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) and BHP (ASX:BHP) are also chiming up.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 15 points down or 0.25 per cent lower at 6,015.

On the futures market the SPI is 1 points lower.

Economic news

Personal finance rose 1.1 per cent in September from August, in trend terms according to the ABS, while Commercial finance went the other way, falling 1.5 per cent in the month. The news from the ABS didn’t seem to affect markets at all.

Company news

Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) completed a $750 million off-market buy back at $63.67, which is a 14 discount to its market price. It forms part of its US$2.5 billion buy-back programme, to return the sale proceeds of the Coal & Allied business to Rio Tinto shareholders. The US$1.925 billion on-market buy-back will start on 27 December 2017 and be completed no later than 31 December 2018. Shares in Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) are trading 1.4 per cent higher at $73.99.

Concrete strengthening company, Eden Innovations (ASX:EDE) has made two new versions of its product that have higher concentration, are lower cost and suitable to be used in the widely made pozzolanic cement. Once released, both versions are expected to attract considerable interest for commercial trials, and sales in the first quarter of 2018. The company plans to formally launched the two new products at the World of Concrete 2018 in Las Vegas in January next year. Shares in Eden Innovations (ASX:EDE) are trading 4.35 per cent higher at $0.12.

Lithium and gold miner, Kidman Resources (ASX:KDR) has inked a deal to sell its share capital of its Coolgardie Mining Company, in WA for an initial $121,000. The mining company holds the licence over the Burbanks gold mine. The purchaser (Barra Resources) will also pay Kidman a royalty of $20 per ounce for the first 55,000 ounces sold from the Burbanks mine. Shares in Kidman Resources (ASX:KDR) are trading 1.5 per cent lower at $1.61

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Materials, gaining 0.5 per cent to 11,087. Shares in Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR) have risen 8.2 per cent and trading at $3.97. Shares in Sandfire Resources Nl (ASX:SFR) and Saracen Mineral Holdings (ASX:SAR) are also stronger.

The worst performing sector is Financials, falling 0.8 per cent to 6,620. Shares in Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC) have fallen 2.8 per cent, trading at $32.30. Shares in Australia And New Zealand Banking Group (ASX:ANZ) and Platinum Asset Management (ASX:PTM) are also lower.

Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,276 an ounce and one Australian dollar is buying 76.46 US cents.
 

Jessica Amir

Finance News Network
Jessica is a senior finance journalist and presents the Market Outlook, Market at Midday and Market Wrap. She also presents ASX company news and interviews CEOs. She joined FNN in January 2017 with six years of broadcast journalism experience. She worked as a journalist and producer with Sky News Business, ABC 1, ABC's The Business and ABC24. She also worked in regional Australia for Prime 7 and WIN News as a TV reporter. In her prior life she worked as a financial planner.