The Australian sharemarket fell more than one per cent this morning on the back of Julia Gillard’s announcement of the details of the proposed carbon tax yesterday, and disappointing job figures from the US last week. At midday, it’s down 1.25 per cent.
The S&P/ASX200 index has lost 62 points to 4,593 at noon. On the futures market the SPI is 68 points lower.
Qantas Airways (ASX:QAN) has officially estimated a cost impact of about $110 to $115 million resulting from the carbon tax. As domestic airlines will be exposed to the full starting carbon price of $23 a tonne, they will not have access to transitional assistance. The airline said the price of a single domestic flight will increase to about $3.50. Shares in Qantas Airways (ASX:QAN) have lost 2 per cent at noon and are trading at $1.96.
Joining Qantas in the disapproval of the carbon tax is Brickworks Limited (ASX:BKW), who has warned the tax will negatively impact housing affordability. The building materials producer said the tax will have an impact of $12.8 million on earnings before interest and tax, and so it will have to increase prices to recover costs. Shares in Brickworks Limited (ASX:BKW) have lost 0.98 per cent at noon and are trading at $10.14.
To the best and worst performers, and the best performing sector is Telco Services, advancing 10 points to 1,038. Shares in Enerji Ltd (ASX:ERJ) have gained 6.67 per cent and trading at $0.016. Shares in Telstra (ASX:TLS) and Singtel (ASX:SGT) are both stronger at noon.
The worst performing sector is Materials, losing 216 points to 13,591. Shares in Bluescope Steel (ASX:BSL) have dropped 4.81 per cent and trading at $1.285. Shares in Lynas (ASX:LYC) and Sundance (ASX:SDL) are also weaker at noon.
The NZSX50 is 22 points weaker at noon. Taking a look at the top four stocks by turnover, Fletcher Building is at the top of the list with stock down 1.8 per cent at $8.20 followed by, Guinness Peat Group, Telecom Corporation of New Zealand and ANZ.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,543 an ounce and the Australian dollar is buying $US1.0693 cents.