The Australian share market opened higher after Wall Street extended its rally, but the ASX quickly entered selling territory, reversing two days of gains from Monday and Tuesday.
Utilities are leading the drag today, followed by property stocks with most sectors seeing red. Bucking the trend though are resource players, as commodity prices rallied with iron ore price gaining 2.1 per cent and crude oil lifting 3.4 per cent and aluminium following. As a result, both materials and energy trade over 1 per cent higher, with the likes of BHP (ASX:BHP) adding 2.4 per cent and Rio (ASX:RIO) gaining about 2 per cent.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 17 points down at 5840. On the futures market the SPI is 27 points lower.
Local economic news
Construction work completed sharply fell in the December quarter by 19.4 per cent when compared to the September quarter. But, compared to the December quarter for 2016, construction work has actually risen by 4.7 per cent.
And at all eyes will be on what comes out of the RBA governor’s speech this afternoon, on ‘regional variation in a national economy’, at the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce. He’ll deliver that speech at 3 pm (AEST).
AWE (ASX:AWE) advised that Japanese company, Mitsui and Co now owns 76.8 per cent of all of the oil and gas company’s shares. It comes as its in the midst of an unconditional $602 million takeover by Mitsui. As for AWE (ASX:AWE) share at noon, they are trading up 0.3 per cent at 95 CENTS.
Windlab (ASX:WND) inked a connection agreement for its Queensland 100 megawatt Lakeland wind farm, with Ergon Energy. The agreement connects the farm to the electricity network, with the farm approved for up to 30 wind turbines. Windlab says it’s a critical milestone in completing the wind farm development. Shares in Windlab (ASX:WND) are trading 1.2 per cent higher at $1.67.
Insurance company IAG (ASX:IAG) has kicked off it’s investor Day in Sydney. The event can be watched via the live webcast on the companies website. Shares in IAG (ASX:IAG) are trading at 1.17 per cent lower to 7.58 today, that’s not far off the high of $8.09 in March this year.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is energy adding 1 per cent to10 558 points while the worst performing sector is utilities, shedding 1.9 per cent to 7313 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Retail Food group (ASX:RFG), rising 9 per cent to $1.02, followed by shares in Genworth (ASX:GMA) and Worley Parsons(ASX:WOR).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Navitas (ASX:NVT), dropping 4.43 per cent to $4.42, followed by shares in Altium (ASX:ALU) and APA Group (ASX:APA).
Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is almost flat and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.1 per cent.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,341 an ounce.
One Australian dollar is buying 77.48 US cents.
Bitcoin has gained 2.1 per cent to US$6,850, Ethereum is up about 4.6 per cent to US$412 and Verge has gained over 19 per cent to US $0.087.