Utilities lead the way: ASX flat at noon

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market opened lower this morning after a cautious start to the week and is now tracking 0.03 per cent lower at noon. Federal Government released a mid-year review earlier today with revisions since the May Budget. Meanwhile, in the US, the central bank is widely expected to raise interest rates for the fourth time this year at the two-day meeting that starts tomorrow. At noon the utilities sector is leading the way and the financials sector trailing behind and the Iron ore price took an almost 5 per cent leap. The S&P/ASX 200 index is 2 points down at 5601. On the futures market the SPI is 18 points lower

Local economic news

Federal Government’s mid-year review shows revisions since the May Budget. The Budget deficit is 2018/19: is $5.2 billion vs $14.5 billion in May 2019/20: surplus $4.1 billion v $2.2 billion surplus
Economic Growth
2018/19: 2.75 per cent revised down from 3 per cent in May
Wage Growth
2018/19: 2.5 per cent revised down from 2.75 per cent in May
2019/20: 3 per cent down from 3.25 per cent.

Company news

Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) has started phase 1 of its first oil production project in Senegal. It follows approval by the Senegalese Minister of Petroleum and Energies of Woodside assuming the role of operator, and the RSSD joint venture’s submission of the SNE Field Development and Exploitation Plan to the Government of Senegal.
The first phase of the project will target 230 million barrels of oil resources off the coast of Senegal, producing as much as 100,000 barrels a day. First oil production targeted in 2022. Shares in Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) 0.6 per cent lower to $30.96

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Utilities adding 1.1 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Financials, shedding 0.9 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN), rising 5.2 per cent to $15.04, followed by shares in Ardent Leisure (ASX:ALG) and Orica (ASX:ORI).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (ASX:API), dropping 4.7 per cent to $1.52, followed by shares in Perpetual (ASX:PPT) and Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC)

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,237 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 4.6 per cent to US$ 70.74 and its futures are pointing to a rise of 2.1 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.73 US cents.