The Australian share market took a dive at the open despite Wall Street closing higher on Friday, it comes as commodities came under pressure with the oil price falling over 3 per cent, hitting a two-year low.
All the sectors are trading lower today, except miners with lithium players, Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY) up over 3 per cent and Orocobre (ASX:ORE) up over 1 per cent. Adding to the gainers, rail company, Aurizon Holdings (ASX:AZJ) reported its first half 2018 financial year net profit fell 5 per cent (on an underlying basis) but it declared a higher dividend and its shares are one of the top performers today.
Copping the most heat is JB Hi-Fi (ASX:JBH) which has fallen 8 per cent after reporting a stronger report card.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 31 points down at 5,807. On the futures market the SPI is 13 points lower.
Glove and condom company Ansell (ASX:ANN) reported its net profit after tax rose over 510 per cent to $428 millon in the half year ending 31 December 20147. Meantime, its total revenue fell 1.2 per cent over the period to $766 million. It comes as the business sold its sexual wellness business in the six months. Meantime the business says it’s focusing on driving organic growth and increasing its distribution. Shares in Ansell (ASX:ANN) are trading 0.7 per cent lower at $24.63.
Real Estate Investment Trust Group GPT (ASX:GPT) has announced the appointment of a former managing director of investment banking at Merrill Lynch as a non executive Director. Vicki McFadden has 18 years experience in investment banking and corporate finance and is currently chairman of Eftpos Payments Australia and a Director of Tabcorp Holdings (ASX:TAH). GPT’s Chairman Rob Ferguson has also announced that he will retire from GPT following the AGM in May. GPT (ASX:GPT) shares are trading flat at $4.83
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is materials adding 0.3 per cent to 11,345 points while the worst performing sector is utilties, shedding 1.9 per cent to 7,319 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is NEXTDC (ASX:NXT), rising 5.5 per cent to $6.03, followed by shares in Aurizon Holdings Limited (ASX:AZJ) and Galaxy Resources Limited (ASX:GXY).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is JB HI-FI (ASX:JBH), dropping 8.2 per cent to $25.82, followed by shares in Seven West Media (ASX:SWM) and Myer Holdings (ASX:MYR).
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,320 an ounce.
One Australian dollar is buying 78.32 US cents.
The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading mixed: Bitcoin has fallen 2 per cent to US$8,245, ripple is flat US$1.03 and Ethereum has fallen about 2 per cent to US$825