The Amazon effect: Aus shares flat at noon

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Aussie share market is having a lacklustre day of trade with Discretionary sector dragging the chain leading half of our market lower, after Amazon’s e-commerce business plans to soft-launch in Australia this afternoon and take its first online orders.

Over on Wall Street, Amazon also made waves there, jumping over 1 per cent after announcing a healthcare deal.

But here, it’s not such a positive Amazon story for the discretionary space today, and we are seeing heavy selling. Names like Billabong (ASX:BBG) have fallen 6 per cent, Webjet (ASX:WEB), Coca-Cola (ASX:CCA) and Flight Centre (ASX:FLT) have lost over 3 per cent. While Harvey Norman (ASX:HVN) and Jb Hi-Fi (ASX:JBH) also are trading below the line.

But there is some shining light today, with large gains in Materials and Energy lifting us up after the iron ore price rose over 3 per cent overnight. South32 (ASX:S32) is up over 3.4 per cent while BHP (ASX:BHP) and Rio Tino (ASX:RIO) jumped over 1 per cent.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 5 points down or 0.09 per cent lower at midday at 5,981.

On the futures market the SPI is 10 points lower.

Company news

On the back of Amazon launching operations in Australia, Woolworths (ASX:WOW) says it's changing its focus from turning around the business to better serving its customers and that’s its priority for FY18. To achieve this, it advised shareholders at its AGM it will be better training and supporting its teams. Its shares are trading flat at $26.10.

Real estate business, Cromwell Property Group’s (ASX:CMW) subsidiary Cromwell European Real Estate Investment Trust (CEREIT) is planning to list on the Monetary Authority of Singapore. The IPO is fully underwritten by Goldman Sachs and UBS just to name a few. The new listed entity should start trading on the Singapore Exchange on 30 November 2017. Shares in Cromwell Property Group (ASX:CMW) are trading almost 1 per cent lower $1.02.

IPOs

Propel Funeral Partners Limited (ASX:PFP) started trading today. The second largest private provider of death care services in Australia floated with an issue price of $2.70, opened at $3.50 and is currently trading at $3.26.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Materials, gaining 0.9 per cent higher to 11,110. Shares in SOUTH32 (ASX:S32) risen 3.341 per cent and trading at $3.43. Shares in Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) and Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG) are also stronger. 

The worst performing sector was Utilities, followed by Discretionary. Utilities fell 0.9 per cent to 8,346. Shares in Ausnet Services (ASX:AST) have fallen 1.1 per cent, trading at $1.82. Shares in Spark Infrastructure Group (ASX:SKI) and AGL Energy (ASX:AGL) are also lower. 

Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,290 an ounce and one Australian dollar is buying 76.11 US cents.