Slow start on Friday: Aus shares flat at noon

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market started the trading session lower today has now clawed back its early losses. The ASX is really shaking off the negative leads from Wall street closing lower after Apple shares lost 2.8 per cent and US treasury notes rose, which fuelled US selling.

Despite that, the ASX looks set to possibly hang onto its sixth day of gains.

Half of the sectors are making gains today, with financials, energy and staples boding well. Meantime, commodities continued their rally with the iron ore price gaining about 4 per cent to US$68.45 and futures also pointing to a further rise of 1.3 per cent. And the miners are seeing some profit taking. 

The S&P/ASX 200 index was flat at midday or 2 points up at 5,883. On the futures market the SPI is 1 points lower.

Company news

Dairy company, Fonterra Co-Operative Group (ASX:FSF) has issued about NZ$9.4 million of shares for its 2018 interim dividend re-investment plan. About 1.7 million shares were issued today at NZ$5.58. Shares in Fonterra Co-Operative Group (ASX:FSF) are trading 0.4 per cent lower at $5.38.

Slater and Gordon (ASX:SGH) has appointed Michael Neilson as company secretary. Shares in Slater and Gordon (ASX:SGH) are trading 0.3 per cent higher at $3.11.

Adairs (ASX:ADH) shares are soaring today after it announced a further upgrade to its FY18 earnings. Its gross margin guidance was increased to 60 to 61 per cent, its sales guidance was further increased by about $10 million to $310 to $315 million, while its EBIT guidance was revised up by about $4 million to $44 to $46.5 million. At noon, Adairs shares had soared 16 per cent higher to $2.14.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is staples adding 0.4 per cent to 10,261 points while the worst performing sector is telcos, shedding 0.8 per cent to 1,123 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Retail Food Group (ASX:RFG), rising 5.6 per cent to $0.94, followed by shares in G.U.D. Holdings Limited (ASX:GUD) and Iress (ASX:IRE).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Evolution Mining  (ASX:EVN), dropping 8.2 per cent to $3.08, followed by shares in G8 Education Limited (ASX:GEM) and APN Outdoor Group (ASX:APO).

Asian markets 

Japan’s Nikkei is flat at the minute, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.2 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.4 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,343 an ounce.
One Australian dollar is buying 77.20 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading higher. Bitcoin trades at US$8,381, Ethereum has gained 10 per cent US$584 and Ripple has gained 20 per cent US$0.87.

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 has been a journalist with Sky News Business, ABC 1, ABC's The Business and ABC24. She’s also worked as a TV reporter for regional Channel 7 and 9. She also previously worked as a financial planner and real estate agent.