Banks and lower AUD weigh: Aus shares flat at noon

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market is seeing a bit of yo-yo action today, following on from Monday and Tuesday’s rally.

From the outset, we had mostly positive leads as the Dow Jones snapped its five-day losing streak on Boeing shares soaring.

Most of ASX sectors are trading higher, with utilities like AGL (ASX:AGL) gaining 1.8 per cent and health stocks also climbing, with the likes of Healthscope (ASX:HSO) gaining over 13 per cent.

Medical cannabis company, AusCann (ASX:AC8) shares are soaring today 7.4 per cent higher, after its major shareholder Canopy Growth Corp announced it will set up Asia-Pacific head quarters in Victoria.

Banks are trailing behind today, with Westpac (ASX:WBC) falling the most out of the big four, down 3 per cent, after it was downgraded to a sell, by UBS from its prior ‘neutral’ position. UBS says WBC was downgraded as APRA’s ‘targeted review’ into mortgage books will be a game changer. The other big banks are following lower. While AMP trades higher.

Iron ore price

The price of iron ore fell 1.9 per cent to US$66.38 and its futures are pointing to a fall of 1.1 per cent

Which is seeing selling in Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) and BHP (ASX:BHP), while the falling Australian dollar is not helping. 

S&P/ASX 200

The index is slightly higher, by 1 point at 5,923 points. On the futures market the SPI is 39 points higher.

Company news

Healthscope (ASX:HSO) received a major buy in today by BGH Capital, who snapped up 14.52 per cent of its shares in the company. BGH is acting as a manager and adviser to a group of entities who also made an unsolicited takeover offer to buy all of HSO’s shares for $2.36 cash per share. That represents a 16 per cent premium to HSO’s closing price on 24 April. The consortium of financial adviser investors in the BGH Capital Fund, includes AustralianSuper and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board (just to name a few entities). Shares in Healthscope (ASX:HSO) are trading 13.8 per cent higher at $2.31.

Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) reported its March quarter gold production fell 6 per cent on the prior quarter, while copper production fell 15.5 per cent. Newcrest says it’s been a busy yet challenging quarter after the embankment slumped at Cadia’s northern tailings facility, while it also started buying a stake in Lundin Gold. It also completed the divestment of Bonikro with the remaining cash consideration of $22 million due at the end of this month. Shares in Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) are trading 0.2 per cent lower at $20.73.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is healthcare 1.1 per cent to 27,044 points while the worst performing sector is financials, shedding 1 per cent to 6,777 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Healthscope (ASX: HSO), rising 13.8 per cent to $2.31, followed by shares in Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (ASX:API) and Sigma Healthcare (ASXa;SIG).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Boral (ASX:BLD), dropping 4.3 per cent to $6.58, followed by shares in Bank Of Queensland (ASX:BOQ) and Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC).

Asian markets 

Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.5 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.4 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.5 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,324 an ounce.
One Australian dollar is buying 75.79 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin trades at US$8,834 Ethereum has fallen about 11 per cent to US$618 and EOS is trading at US$15.00
 

Jessica Amir

Finance News Network
Jessica is the head of news and 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.