Trade war worries, but miners shine: Aus shares 0.4% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market is heading for its fourth day of straight losses. It comes as we had more negative leads from Wall Street with the three major indices closing lower on China trade war fears, after President Donald Trump says he wishes to impose $60 billion of tariffs on Chinese goods.

Most sectors are trading lower today with financials seeing the biggest falls. Out of the big four banks, NAB (ASX:NAB) is down the most with Westpac (ASX:WBC) following, Commonwealth Bank (ASX:CBA) has lost the least. The only sector seeing gains is the mining sector as the iron ore price has moved back above the $70 a tonne level, hitting $71.64

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 0.4 per cent or 22 points down at 5,913. On the futures market the SPI is 15 points lower.

Company news 

Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) has drawn down half of its $100 million bond issue, to construct and commission its plant at its flagship Pilgangoora Lithium-Tantalum Project. The lithium miner satisfied all the conditions to draw down the bond, which included spending all of its project equity for the project. The bond was supported by Australian and international funds as well as the Australian Government Body, The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC). The company says it’s a significant milestone as it moves toward starting production next quarter. Its shares are trading 1.9 per cent higher at $0.94.

Argosy Minerals (ASX:AGY) was granted approval for the development of additional lithium brine evaporation ponds at its Rincon Lithium Project. The approval allows the company to fast track progress of its stage two development works and it will now start preparing to conduct pond construction works. It also advised the market, that stage one of its lithium brine concentration processing works is imminent. The company will be officially inducted into the All Ords on 19 March. Its shares are trading 4.6 per cent higher at $0.35.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is materials adding 0.3 per cent to 11,257 points while the worst performing sector is financials, shedding 0.9 per cent to 7,065 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Lynas Corporation Limited (ASX:LYC), rising 3.3 per cent to $2.52, followed by shares in Myer Holdings Limited (ASX:MYR) and Saracen Mineral Holdings Limited name (ASX: SAR).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Retail Food Group Limited (ASX:RFG), dropping 4.8 per cent to $1.04, followed by shares in G8 Education Limited (ASX:GEM) and Spark New Zealand Limited (ASX:SPK).

Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,327 an ounce.
One Australian dollar is buying 78.75 US cents.


Bitcoin has fallen 12 per cent to US$8,187 Ethereum fallen about 13 per cent to US$607 and Ripple has shed 15 cent to US$0.67.


Jessica Amir

Finance News Network
Jessica is a senior finance journalist and presents bulletins including the Market Outlook, Market at Midday and Market Wrap. She also interviews ASX CEOs and leading fund managers. She joined FNN in January 2017 with over six years of broadcast journalism experience including with Sky News Business, ABC 1, ABC's The Business and ABC24. She’s also worked as a TV reporter for Prime 7 and WIN News. Jessica has worked in financial planning for over six years with leading wealth managers and in real estate.