The Australian share market took a massive dive at the open on the back of Wall Street’s huge sell off last Friday with American stocks seeing their worst week in 2 years on the back of the benchmark interest rate, or 10-year yield, popping to a 4 year high of 2.85 per cent.
Selling in most of our sectors is keep us under water in the first two hours of trade, with consumer staples, energy and mining stocks dragging the most. At noon the S&P/ASX 200 index was 1.3 per cent lower or 78 points down at 6,043 points. And the futures market the SPI is predicting a fall of 75 points.
Mining stocks are seeing a lot of profit taking, and have claimed some of the worst performing posts today, while in the consumer staples space, the owner of Coles and Bunnings, Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) has fallen in the most in its sector, shedding over 4.8 per cent after it announced a $777 million write down.
Fairfax Media (ASX:FXJ) and its NZ business Stuff Limited (previously Fairfax NZ) and NZME (ASX:NZM) have announced they are applying for leave (or approval) to appeal the High Court’s decision declining their merger. It comes as the New Zealand Commerce Commission (NZCC) declined to clear their merger in May last year (3 May 2017). The High Court found the public stand to benefit, but having media variety outweighed the financial gain. Fairfax shares are trading 0.4 per cent lower at $0.72 while shares in NZME (ASX:NZM) last traded at $0.76 last Friday.
Billion dollar telco, Speedcast International (ASX:SDA) have inked a $184 million contract with the Australian Government’s infrastructure provider, NBN Co. The 10-year contract, involves building, designing and managing the provider’s enterprise- satellite services. Speedcast International (ASX:SDA) shares are trading 0.2 per cent higher at $5.51.
Best and worst performers
The best performing and only sector seeing gains is utilities, rising 0.3 per cent to 7,941 points while the worst performing sector is staples, shedding 2.4 per cent to 10,129 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Spark Infrastructure Group (ASX:SKI), rising 1.1 per cent to $2.35, followed by shares in Brickworks Limited (ASX:BKW) and Steadfast Group (ASX:SDF).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG), dropping 5.8 per cent to $1.09, followed by shares in Syrah Resources Limited (ASX:SYR) and Western Areas Limited (ASX:WSA).
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,334 an ounce.
One Australian dollar is buying 79.27 US cents.
The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading mostly lower.
Bitcoin has fallen 9.4 per cent to $8,231
Ethereum fallen about 13 per cent to $834
And Tether has gained about 0.8 per cent to $1.01.