Profit taking drags us lower: Aus shares 0.95% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market has slumped away from decade highs, with investors, directors and companies taking profits, dragging the ASX200 down from its 6,000-point milestone.

It’s a sea of red today with the major sectors all in selling territory and trading lower. The biggest drag is the Energy Sector after Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) was sold off by a director, and that saw the giant lose about 2.9 per cent. It is important to note though US crude prices are still quite strong, around 2 year highs.

Qantas Airways (ASX:QAN) is also seeing a lot of selling, after a buy-back and its shares are 2.6 per cent lower.

In the materials space, explosives and blasting system giant, Orica (ASX:ORI) also went ex-dividend today, which has seen it lose about 2.5 per cent. BHP (ASX:BHP), Rio (ASX:RIO) and Fortescue (ASX:FMG) are all lower while Orocobre (ASX:ORE) is charging 5.5 per cent up. Industrial chemical company Incitec Pivot (ASX:IPL) also added over 5 per cent after its net profit after tax rose 8 per cent on FY2016 to $319 million.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 57 points down or 0.95 per cent at 5,965.

On the futures market the SPI is 65 points higher.

Company news

ANZ (ASX:ANZ) advised it will be undertaking an on-market purchase of about $120 million ANZ shares to settle employee compensation plans. The purchase is tipped to take place in November and December 2017 (outside of the pricing period of ANZ’s Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRP) over 17 November to 30 November)). Shares in ANZ (ASX:ANZ) are trading 1.1 per cent lower at $29.18.

And Dreamworld and theme park owner, Ardent Group Leisure (ASX:AAD) appointed Brian Horton as Interim Chief Executive Office (CEO) of its Bowling and Entertainment Division. He has been the division’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the past 3 years and ‘instrumental in developing and executing its strategy’. A search for a permanent replacement is underway. Ardent Group Leisure are trading 0.6 per cent lower at $1.75.

IPOs

Ocean Grown Abalone Limited (ASX:OGA) is planning to list today. We will give you an update if the Abalone producer does list.

Best and worst performers

The sector with the least losses is Telcos, falling 0.4 per cent to 1,238. Shares in Speedcast International (ASX:SDA) have risen 6.64 per cent and trading at $4.98. Shares in Vocus Group (ASX:VOC) and Chorus (ASX:CNU) are also stronger.

The worst performing sector is Energy, falling 2.3 per cent to 10,012. Shares in Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) have fallen 3.2 per cent, trading at $31.23. Shares in Oil Search (ASX:OSH) and Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) are also lower.

Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,278 an ounce and one Australian dollar is buying 76.30 US cents.