The Australian share market opened lower this morning as a number of heavyweights recorded early declines. After announcing the resignation of their CEO Michael Clarke, Treasury Wines (ASX:TWE) dropped 11.1 per cent with WiseTech Global and Afterpay Touch also down.
Macquarie has maintained its outperform rating and $10.10 target for Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG). Macquarie notes spot iron ore prices and narrow discounts for lower-grade products continue to drive strong upgrade momentum. Shares in Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) are trading 0.6 per cent higher at $8.34 at noon.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 17 points lower at 6,633. On the futures market the SPI is 11 points lower.
WiseTech Global (ASX:WTC) has entered another trading halt. The company is set to respond to a second report from J Capital Research that sent its share price tumbling as much as 11 per cent this morning before it paused trading. After returning from Thursday's halt, the company rejected the attack on its business by the short-selling hedge fund and CEO Richard White said the company’s financials, revenue, profit, growth rates and product had all been verified comprehensively and form part of the external independent audits conducted annually. The securities will remain in trading halt pending an announcement to the market. Shares in WiseTech Global (ASX:WTC) are trading at 12.3 per cent lower at $26.30.
Mayne Pharma Group (ASX:MYX) non executive director Mr Ron Best will retire from his role with the pharmaceutical company next month. Mr Best joined the Mayne Pharma Board in 2006 and has also served as Chairman of the Nomination Committee and a member of the Audit and Risk Committee. Shares in Mayne Pharma (ASX:MYX) are trading at 0.9 per cent higher at 59 cents.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector is REITs, adding 0.8 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Information Technology, shedding 2.3 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Inghams Group (ASX:ING), rising 5.1 per cent to $3.07, followed by shares Lynas Corporation (ASX:LYC) and Stockland (ASX:SGP).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is WiseTech Global (ASX:WTC), falling 12.3 per cent to $26.30, followed by shares in Treasury Wine Estates (ASX:TWE) and New Hope Corporation (ASX:NHC).
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,491 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 0.8 per cent to US$86.36.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.8 per cent.
One Australian dollar is 0.1 per cent higher buying 68.58 US cents.