The Australian share market took a dive at the open on the back of weak leads from Wall Street with the Dow Jones taking its biggest hit this year, on fears the bull market could end. It comes as the benchmark 10-year yield broke above 2.7 per cent for the first time in about four years, spooking investors that higher interest rates would dampen buoyed markets.
From the outset, the ASX saw mixed company news keeping us under water in the first two hours of trade with all the major sectors below the line. At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 index clocked a fall of 0.6 per cent or 36 points at 6,039 points, while on the futures market the SPI is pointing to a 26 point fall.
For big swings, we are also seeing a tale of two education providers, claim the worst and best performing posts today, with early child hood education provider G8 Education (ASX:GEM) up over 3 per cent and higher education provider Navitas (ASX:NVT) going the other way, sliding over 6 per cent.
For the big miners, Sandfire Resources (ASX:SFR) shares kicked about 3 higher on the back of stellar quarterly report and iron ore giant, Fortescue (ASX:FMG) gained over 2 after investor also liked their quarterly production report with lower production costs.
Local economic news
Business confidence grew from the prior reading, but disappointed economists and the forecasts expectations, according to NAB’s business survey (Business Confidence Index).
Education provider, Navitas (ASX:NVT) reported weaker half year profits, revenues and earnings for the half year ending 31 December 2017, noting its half-year profit fell 53.6 per cent to $24.7 million. Despite the slide, the company says its operating results were in line with their KPI’s despite some uncertainty in markets. The top 200 company has six university partnerships that have been renewed with three up for renewal in the next two years. Its shares are are trading 7 per cent lower at $4.87 at noon.
Software logistics company, GetSwift (ASX:GSW) has appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to review its continuous disclosure obligations as well as working on a comprehensive market update about the ASX’s queries. The company will keep its shares in suspension until the announcement is made. Getwift shares of course entered a halt, then suspension after the AFR published a story that Getswift (ASX:GSW) refuted, about its disclosure obligations. Getswift says it did not lose materially significant contracts and denied that it failed to report such material information. Shares in GetSwift (ASX:GSW) last traded at $2.92 on 19 January.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector with the least losses is telcos losing 0.12 per cent to 1,301 points while the worst performing sector is energy on the back of the oil price falling 1 per cent over night. The sector shedding 1.4 per cent to 10,930 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is G8 Education Limited (ASX:GEM), rising 4.3 per cent to $3.42, followed by shares in Sandfire Resources Nl (ASX:SFR) and Oz Minerals Limited (ASX:OZL).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Navitas Limited (ASX:NVT), dropping 7.1 per cent to $4.87, followed by shares in Credit Corp Group Limited (ASX:CCP) and Iron Mountain Incorporated (ASX:INM).
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,340 an ounce.
One Australian dollar is buying 80.93 US cents.
The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading mixed
Bitcoin has fallen 4 per cent to $11,303
Ethereum fallen about 5 per cent to $1,183
And Tether gained about 1 per cent to about $1.00