Defying positive leads the Australian share market opened 0.5 per cent lower but has recovered since and is trading steady at noon. As the biggest week of reporting season kicks off attention is on company earnings. Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) and Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX:TLS) are weighing as the heavyweights trade ex-dividend.
The S&P/ASX 200 index has lost 1 point and is sitting at 4,369. On the futures market the SPI is 20 points higher.
Regional lender Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited (ASX:BEN) has recorded a 43 per cent fall in its full year net profit, impacted by rising funding costs and slower lending.
Ship builder Austal Limited (ASX:ASB) will gain $US7.4 million after the US Military exercised the first of three options for the ongoing charter of the Austal’s high speed vessel called WestPac Express.
BC Iron Limited (ASX:BCI) and Cleveland Mining Company Limited (ASX:CDG) have formed a strategic alliance to acquire and co-develop new iron ore projects in Brazil, with BC also to pay about $6 million for a 5 per cent stake in Cleveland.
Shopping centre owner Westfield Group (ASX:WDC) is reportedly gearing up to slash up to 10 per cent of its workforce, or 400 employees, according to The Australian.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is health care gaining 174 points to 9,756. Shares in CSL Limited (ASX:CSL) have risen 2.28 per cent and trading at $40.85. Shares in Primary Health Care Limited (ASX:PRY) and ResMed Inc (ASX:RMD) are also stronger.
The worst performing sector is telco services, falling 62 points to 1,275. Shares in Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX:TLS) have fallen 4.87 per cent to $3.71 with the stock trading ex-dividend today. Shares in M2 Telecommunications Group Limited (ASX:MTU) are lower while shares in TPG Telecom Limited (ASX:TPM) are slightly higher.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,619 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US1.043.