Following mixed leads, the Australian share market opened moderately higher and has traded mostly flat so far today, amid broad expectations the RBA will keep rates on hold this afternoon.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 3 points down at 4,130. On the futures market the SPI is 7 points higher.
Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX:WPL) has received the go ahead from The Foreign Investment Review Board to sell part of its stake in the Browse LNG development to Japan Australia LNG. Woodside says it is “now working with the Browse joint venture partners to finalise the sale.” The oil and gas company decreased its stake from 46 per cent to 31.4 per cent earlier this year, for $2 billion. Shares in Woodside are trading down 2.39 per cent at $31.05.
Echo Entertainment Group Limited (ASX:EGP) has received regulatory approval by the New South Wales Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority and the relevant Queensland Minister, allowing fund manager Perpetual Limited (ASX:PPT) to increase its shareholding in Echo from 10 per cent to a maximum of 15 per cent. Perpetual is one of three bidders to receive the approval. Crown Limited (ASX:CWN) and Genting are reportedly also awaiting approval. Shares in Echo are trading up 0.47 per cent at $4.28.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is Consumer Discretionary gaining 7 points to 1,239. Shares in Aristocrat Leisure Limited (ASX:ALL) have risen 3.47 per cent and trading at $2.54. Shares in Fairfax Media are higher whilst Tatts Group is slightly lower.
The worst performing sector is Energy, falling 134 points to 12,006. Shares in Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX:WPL) have fallen 2.39 per cent, trading at $31.05. Shares in Paladin Energy and Karoon Gas are also lower.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,596 an ounce
The Australian dollar is buying $US1.027.