With the US budget impasse extending into its second week and sending Wall Street lower the Australian share market slipped at open and is 0.4 per cent weaker at noon, weighed by losses in energy stocks, while financials and retailers have also fallen in early trade.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 13 points down at 5,148. On the futures market the SPI is 18 points lower.
NAB has released its Business Confidence and Business Conditions reports for September, revealing a 3 and a half year high for Australian business confidence. The confidence index rose to 12 points in September, from 4 in August and -5 in July. Business conditions meanwhile were -4 in September, up from -7 in July and August, remaining subdued according to NAB chief economist Alan Oster.
Explosives maker Orica Limited (ASX:ORI)
has recruited former Macmahon Holdings Limited (ASX:MAH)
Managing Director Nick Bowen as its Executive Global Head of Mining Services. Mr Bowen was with Macmahon for 13 years and brings vast sector experience and international acumen to the role he will commence on November 11. Shares in Orica are trading up 0.2 per cent at $19.78.
Information and Communications Technology company RXP Services Limited (ASX:RXP)
has formed a strategic alliance with IT company ServiceNow to jointly deliver business transformation services. CEO Ross Fielding says both companies are investing in growing their market share and reach in Asia Pacific and the joint approach is very encouraging. Shares in RXP are trading down 0.65 per cent at $0.76.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is Healthcare gaining 145 points to 13,721. Shares in CSL Limited (ASX:CSL)
have risen 2.29 per cent and trading at $65.58. Shares in Primary Health Care Limited (ASX:PRY)
and ResMed Inc. (CHESS) (ASX:RMD)
are also stronger.
The worst performing sector is Energy, falling 137 points to 13,662. Shares in Linc Energy Limited (ASX:LNC)
have fallen 11.28 per cent, trading at $1.04. Shares in Drillsearch Energy Limited (ASX:DLS)
and Paladin Energy Limited (ASX:PDN)
are also lower.
99 Wuxian Limited (ASX:NNW)
started trading today. The Hong Kong based investment holding company floated with an issue price of $0.40, opened at $0.55 and is currently trading at $0.53.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,323 an ounce and the Australian dollar is buying $US0.9444.