Wednesday woes: Aus shares 0.2% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market bounced higher this morning following Wall Street’s rebound. But the local bourse has slipped below the line and is now tracking lower at noon with most sectors of the market holding us down.

Retail Food Group one of the worst decliners today in the Discretionary space, while some big named energy companies are trading below the line after the oil price appears to be falling from its two day highs.

The iron ore price has fallen again which is seeing some muted gains in the miners, while some smaller companies likes Flinders Resources (ASX:FND) have gained 47 per cent.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 11 points down or 0.2 per cent lower at 5,741. On the futures market the SPI is 4 points higher.

Local economic news

Retail sales lifted in February by 0.6 per cent according to fresh data from the ABS, beating forecasts it would rise by 0.5 per cent.

Meanwhile building permits fell in February, from the previous month’s stellar growth of 17.2 per cent, falling 6.2 per cent (in seasonally adjusted terms). Despite the drop-in building approvals some analysts were expecting the drop to be greater.

Company news 

Gold producer, St Barbara (ASX:SBM) has invested $4 million in a small mining company, Duketon Mining (ASX:DKM) which has a flagship project north of Laverton in Western Australia. It’s planning the use the funds to explore its gold and nickel prospects at its 100 per cent owned tenure. St Barbara’s holding represents 12.3 per cent of Duketon Mining. As for shares in Duketon Mining (ASX:DKM) they are trading 20 per cent higher at $0.30 and St Barbara (ASX:SBM) trades 1.1 per cent lower at $4.05.

Yowie (ASX:YOW) chocolates will now be available at 7-Eleven and CVS stores including Walmart, Walgreens, Food for Less, just to name few. At the end of May Yowie cholates will be able to be snapped up at 8,500 7-Eleven stores and 6,000 CVS retail outlets in 49 states of America. Yowie chocolates include a fun animal figurine inside them, encouraging kids to learn about wildlife and the need for animal protection. Its shares are trading 15 per cent higher at $0.12 extending its rally yesterday.

To the best and worst performers

The best performing sector is healthcare adding 0.8 per cent to 26,238 points while the worst performing sector is consumer discretionary, shedding 0.9 per cent to 2,177 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Bellamy's Australia Limited (ASX:BAL), rising 7 per cent to $21.07, followed by shares in The a2 Milk Company Limited (ASX:A2M) and CSR Limited (ASX:CSR).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is G8 Education Limited (ASX:GEM), dropping 8 per cent to $2.39, followed by shares in Retail Food Group Limited (ASX: RFG) and Seven West Media (ASX:SWM).

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.02 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.6 per cent.

To gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,334 an ounce.
One Australian dollar is buying 77.15 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin has gained 4 per cent to US$7,372 Ethereum has added 5 per cent to US$406 and Ripple has added 11 per cent to US$132.

Jessica Amir

Finance News Network
Jessica joined FNN in January 2017 with a passion for equities and funds management. As Head of News, she has been a broadcast journalist for over seven years, specialising in finance. She was a journalist 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 as a financial planner and real estate agent.