Tumultuous Thursday: Aus shares 0.1% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market has seen a bit of volatility on Thursday. The local bourse opened lower on the back of Wall Street’s wild ride which saw the S&P 500 with its biggest reversal since February 2016 after interest rates pushed higher.

Gains in half of the sectors is the seeing the broader market start to somewhat level off. Telcos, financials and staples trade higher, with financial giant AMP (ASX:AMP) gaining over 3.8 per cent on the back of a lift in its full year results.

At noon though, the S&P/ASX 200 index was 8 points lower at 5,868. On the futures market the SPI is 16 points higher.

Half of the major sectors are trading lower with energy and mining stocks being the biggest weight after the oil price trades lower, while Rio Tinto’s (ASX:RIO) share price fell after it reported a 90 per cent jump in its 2017 net profit to US$8.8 billion. And despite the stellar result, it broadly missed some analyst’s expectations which is why it’s trading lower.

Company news

Construction software company, Aconex (ASX:ACX) is a step closer to being potentially taken over by US tech giant Oracle. It comes as the Supreme Court of Victoria ordered Aconex shareholders to vote and consider Oracle’s takeover of $7.80 cash per ACX share. The tabled scheme of arrangement, if approved, is expected to take place on 29 March 2018. Its shares are trading at a one year high and today Aconex shares are trading 0.1 per cent higher at $7.70.

And after mining giant Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) reported a 90 per cent surge in its full year profits after the market closed yesterday, today it has announced it will start a US$1 billion share buyback program. This is in addition to the US$1.9 billion buyback it started last year. And in that program, it has already bought back US$195 million. Both programs will be finalised by the end of his calendar year. Its shares at midday are trading 2.4 per cent lower to $76.44.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) took the opportunity to increase its majority holding in media company, Southern Cross Media (ASX:SXL), taking its holding in the firm from 6.96 per cent to 8.33 per cent. Shares in Southern Cross Media are trading 1.1 per cent lower at $1.11.


Duxton Broadacre Farms (ASX:DBF) started trading today. The grain provider floated with an issue price of $1.50, opened at $1.58 and its trading at $1.58.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is telco adding 1.3 per cent to 1,280 points while the worst performing sector is energy, shedding 1.5 per cent to 10,487 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Seven West Media Limited (ASX:SWM), rising 4.5 per cent to $0.52, followed by shares in Blackmores Limited (ASX:BKL) and AMP Limited (ASX:AMP).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Tabcorp Holdings Limited (ASX:TAH), dropping 6.3 per cent to $4.78, followed by shares in Whitehaven Coal Limited (ASX:WHC) and Western Areas Limited (ASX:WSA).

Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,316 an ounce.
One Australian dollar is buying 78.17 US cents.


The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading mixed

Bitcoin has gained 1 per cent to $7,786
Ethereum gained about 0.4 per cent to $783
And Tether has lost about 0.5 per cent to $0.99.