Defying positive offshore leads the Australian share market back-flipped at open and has sunk 0.7 per cent into the red. Lingering uncertainty concerning Syria’s conflict and Australia’s upcoming Federal Election has sapped risk appetite. While most sectors are down losses in mining sector are deepest after commodity prices fell. Industrials and health care are the only major sectors bucking the downwards trend.
The S&P/ASX 200 index has sunk 34 points and is trading at 5,127. On the futures market the SPI is 36 points lower.
Australia's trade balance fell to a deficit in July, defying expectations it would remain as a surplus. The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports the nation posted a trade deficit of $765 million, down from expectations of a $100 million surplus and down from a surplus of $243 million the month before.
Miners making headlines
Shares in BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP)
are trading 1.32 per cent lower amid reports the global miner is considering more cost cuts at its Queensland coking coal unit to boost long-term competitiveness.
Shares in Jupiter Mines Limited (ASX:JMS)
have soared 9.72 per cent after the mining company inked a joint venture agreement with OM Holdings Limited (ASX:OMH)
for the marketing of manganese ore.
Shares in Blackthorn Resources Limited (ASX:BTR)
have fallen 7.92 per cent after the mineral explorer released the latest round of copper results from infill drilling at its Kitumba deposit within the Mumbwa Project in Zambia.
Shares in Medusa Mining Limited (ASX:MML)
have dropped 6.53 per cent after announcing to the market last night its September quarter production will be impacted by a delay in the commissioning of a new mill.
Best and worst performers
One of the few major sectors trading higher is industrials, gaining 11 points to 3,876. Shares in Telecom Corporation of New Zealand (ASX:TEL)
have risen 0.52 per cent and trading at $1.92. Shares in Singapore Telecommunications Limited (ASX:SGT)
are also stronger while shares in TPG Telecom Limited (ASX:TPM)
are slightly down.
The worst performing sector is consumer staples, falling 89 points to 9,850. Shares in Treasury Wine Estates Limited (ASX:TWE)
have eased 2.15 per cent, trading at $4.56. Shares in Metcash Limited (ASX:MTS)
and Woolworths Limited (ASX:WOW)
are also lower.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,392 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying 91.86 cents.