The Australian share market has snapped its five-day winning streak, opening lower and falling further into the red in the first hours of trade.
It comes after the financial sector is seeing some selling the wake of a new financial entrant coming on the market. APRA granted Volt Bank Limited a licence to operate as an authorised deposit-taking institution (ADI) without restrictions under the Banking Act 1959. An ASX company, Collection House (ASX:CLH) was quick to make an investment into the digi bank, a $8.5 million equity injection.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 0.3 per cent or 15 points lower at 5,876 at noon. On the futures market the SPI is 10 points lower.
Citi says Saracen Mineral Holdings (ASX:SAR) the gold and silver producer had a strong December quarter but it’s ‘still’ too expensive. Citi expects its earnings to increase in FY19 and FY20 on the back of better than expected 1H19 production, as well as the gold price, rising. Saracen also upped its guidance for FY19. Its share price has gained 94 per cent year-on-year. Its shares are trading 0.3 per cent lower at noon.
Citi initiated its broker coverage of Mayne Pharma (ASX:MYX) with a buy rating at a $0.95 target. Citi says the health care business is currently operating at 25 per cent discount to its peers. Citi forecasts a 12 per cent EPS and says there is a lot to like about the business, from its management team to its branded business showing promise. Citi also expects the company to make further acquisitions of branded products and smaller generic players as the industry continues to consolidate. Shares in Mayne Pharma (ASX:MYX) are trading 4 per cent higher at $0.85 at noon.
Australian equity investment company, AMCIL Limited (ASX:AMH) released its HY 2019 financial results (to 31 December 2018), with a 43 per cent rise in its a profit to $3.66 million. Its revenue from investments rose 10 per cent over the period, compared to the same time last year, hitting $4.5 million. It paid a final dividend of 4.25 cents per share (fully franked) in the financial year ended 30 June 2018, paying it in August 2018. Shares in AMCIL Limited (ASX:AMH) are trading 1.2 per cent higher at $0.88 at noon.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is Utilities adding 0.6 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 Syrah Resources Limited (ASX:SYR), rising 5.2 per cent to $2.03, followed by shares in Domain Holdings Australia (ASX:DHG) and Speedcast International Limited (ASX:SDA).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Automotive Holdings Group Limited (ASX:AHG), dropping 3.4 per cent to $1.50, followed by shares in Pact Group Holdings Ltd (ASX:PGH) and Boral Limited (ASX:BLD).
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,279 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 0.3 per cent to US$75.90
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.5 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.53 US cents.