Gary Cohn resigns, investors rattled: Aus shares 44 points down at noon

Market Reports

by Anna Napoli

The Australian share market fell at the open despite Wall Street closing higher. The resignation of Donald Trump’s top economic adviser Gary Cohn has rattled the markets. The news saw all of our sectors trade lower in the first two hours of trade.

Investor and traders and also absorbing a weaker than expected bout of economic news – which we will touch on in a sec

Leading the decline today are utilities, energy and financials. Most of the sectors are trading close to 1 per cent lower. The likes of Monadelphous (ASX:MND) has lost around 8 per cent and Wisetech Global (ASX:WTC) is down around 4 per cent. On the up today – are gold stocks such as Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG) and Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCN). Some lithium players are also boding well with the small cap mining companies like Australian Mines (ASX:AUZ) and Argosy Minerals (ASX:AGY) seeing gains.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 44 points down to 5918. On the futures market the SPI is 55 points lower.

Economic news

The Australian economy grew less than expected in the fourth quarter of last year, with GPD rising 0.4 per cent, compared to the expected 0.6 per cent rise. It was also weaker when compared to the last quarter’s 0.7 per cent up tick. Meantime, year-on-year (YOY) the economy grew at 2.4 per cent, slightly less than the expected yearly figure of 2.5 per cent.

Company news

Medical technology company ImpediMed (ASX:IPD) has entered into an agreement with Sharp HealthCare to be a centre of Excellence for exploration devices in their cancer care program. Their devices - the SOZO and L-Dex help clinicians assess lymp-he-dema in patients. Impedimed is trading 2.6 per cent higher to 79 cents.

Energy services group Valmec (ASX:VMX) has announced its secured renewal of its long term services contract from Origin Energy Resources.

The contract is on behalf of the Australia Pacific LNG joint venture for its APLNG project and has an estimated value of $15 million per annum. Shares in Valmec (ASX:VMX) are trading 2.86 per cent higher to 36 cents.

Best and worst performers

The sector with the least losses is REIT’s losing 0.05 per cent to 1305 points while the worst performing sector is utilities , gaining/shedding 1.3 per cent to 7378 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG), rising 4.04 per cent to $1.22, followed by shares in Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) and Lynas (ASX:LYC).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Monadelphous (ASX:MND), dropping 7.95 per cent to $14.47, followed by shares in Platinum Asset Management (ASX:PTC) and Wisetec Global (ASX:WTC).

Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,336 an ounce.
One Australian dollar is buying 77.90 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading mixed. Bitcoin has fallen4 per cent to US$10,891, Tether is trading at US$1. Ethereum fallen about 3 per cent to US$821.