The Australian share market dived 1.8 per cent in the first 10 mins of trade, on the back of Wall Street’s slump with the Dow Jones now 10 per cent down from its record and on track to post its biggest weekly decline since October 2008. But the local bourse is starting to claw back and the S&P/ASX 200 index at midday was 1.33 per cent lower or 82 points down 5,809. While on the futures market the SPI is 75 points lower.
A lift in the iron ore futures is pushing some mining companies like Fortescue (ASX:FMG) higher, while in the financials place, NAB (ASX:NAB) is seeing the most gains.
Local economic news
Home loans fell more than expected, month on month, and investment lending dropped for December, according to fresh data released by the ABS today.
Meantime, the RBA is forecasting economic growth to improve, with GDP tipped to grow to 2.75 per cent for the year ending June 2018. It’s expecting the unemployment rate will drop to 5.25 per cent from 5.5 per cent and CPI or inflation to lift to 2 per cent but remain low. All this was released in the monetary policy statement.
Company news now
Telstra (ASX:TLS) could potentially end up in the Supreme Court of NSW with a small business-to-business mobile provider, Impelus (ASX:IMS) trying to prevent Telstra from ending its carrier billing services. It comes as Telstra previously advised it would stop providing the small ASX company with direct carrier billing services from 2 March 2018. Shares in Telstra (ASX:TLS) are trading 1.83 per cent lower at $3.50.
And Legg Mason, Western Asset Management Company and its associates havedropped their majority holding in Atlas Iron (ASX:AGO) slightly from 7.86 per cent of the company to 6.77 per cent. As for Atlas Iron (ASX:AGO) shares, they are trading flat at 2.5 cents.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is financials losing 1.1 per cent to 6,270 points while the worst performing sector is energy, shedding 2.4 per cent to 10,213 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN), rising 6.37 per cent to $2.84, followed by shares in St Barbara Limited (ASX:SBM) and Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Myer Holdings (ASX:MYR) (on the back of its profit and sales slide), dropping 9.69 per cent to $0.58, followed by shares in Wisetech Global (ASX:WTC) and Bega Cheese (ASX:BGA).
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,320 an ounce.
One Australian dollar is buying 77.84 US cents.
The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading higher.
Bitcoin has gained 2per cent to US$7,983
Ethereum gained about 2 per cent to US$795
And Tether has gained 0.7 per cent to US$1.01.