AUD gains, ASX slips: Aus shares 0.4% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market is having a weak day of trade, tracking 0.4 per cent lower at noon with the most selling in financials and miners, while the majority of sectors trade lower. It also comes as the Australian dollar gained against the greenback’s weakness.

Local traders and investors didn’t really have much to follow before the market open, as Wall Street was closed for Martin Luther King Jr. Day and European markets saw mild losses.

The big four banks are all lower, with NAB (ASX:NAB) falling the least, while investment management company, Netwealth (ASX:NWL) gained about 1 per cent, while trustee solution company, EQT Holdings (ASX:EQT) gained a sixth of a per cent.

Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) is trading about 1 per cent lower at midday despite its fourth quarter results meeting its guidance, while BHP (ASX:BHP) is also being sold down.

Energy stocks again trading lower amid profit taking with Woodside (ASX:WPL) down 1.5 per cent.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 0.4 per cent lower or 27 points down to 6,051.

On the futures market the SPI is 31 points lower.

Company news now

ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ) is trading lower as the company bought back $8.3 million shares as part of its $1.5 billion buy back. At midday its shares were 0.4 per cent lower at $28.53.

Oil and gas giant, Oil Search (ASX:OSH) completed the drilling at its JV site in the North-West Highlands of Papua New Guinea with good-quality gas. The JV (PRL 3) is now evaluating the results from the well, (P’nyang South 2 ST1) and is confident it will support the marketing and financing for its LNG expansion. Its shares are trading 0.8 per cent lower at $7.81.

Speedcast (ASX:SDA) has again claimed one of the worst performing posts today after a Victorian Funds Management sold down $3.3 million shares in the satellite company. It also comes as Challenger sold down some of its major holding in the company, as Speedcast trades at all-time highs. As a result, its shares are 3.5 per cent lower at $5.17.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Staples adding 0.33 per cent to 10,044 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is The A2 Milk Company (ASX:A2M), rising 5.7 per cent to $7.30. Shares in Blackmores (ASX:BKL) and Independence Group Nl (ASX:IGO) are following, as the second and third best performers.

The worst performing sector was Telcos, shedding 1.3 per cent to 1,317 points.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Retail Food Group Limited (ASX:RFG), dropping 5.5 per cent to $2.22 Shares in Speedcast International (ASX:SDA) and Asaleo Care (ASX:AHY) also following as the second and third worst performers so far this session.

Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,341 an ounce, hitting a four-month high as the USD index slumped to a 3 year low.

One Australian dollar is buying 79.57 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin has dropped 2 per cent in the last 24 hours to $13,502
Ethereum shed about 8 per cent to $1,256
And Tether has slipped about 0.4 per cent to $1.01
 

Jessica Amir

Finance News Network
Jessica is the head of news and 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.