Negative offshore leads pushed the Australian share market down at open but stocks are showing resilience and have moved onto positive territory ahead of noon. News China’s manufacturing activity had fallen into contraction territory sparked a sell-off on global markets overnight. US investors were also rattled by weaker than expected economic data and earnings results.
While this morning's local losses have not been as severe the benchmark is still on track to post its third straight weekly fall. Across the sectors gold and mining stocks have moved higher after commodity prices firmed overnight while the retailers are hurting after The Reject Shop Limited’s (ASX:TRS)
trading update. The discount retailer’s stock has tanked more than 20 per cent after posting flat comparable store sales and flagging shrinking margins.
The S&P/ASX 200 index has firmed 7.3 points to 5,270. On the futures market the SPI is 2 points lower.
Shares in Beach Energy Limited (ASX:BPT)
have risen 3.27 per cent after its partner in the Redland-1 Unconventional Shale Gas Well [Icon Energy Limited (ASX:ICN)
] released a promising update on the potential of the area.
Shares in Australian Agricultural Company Limited (ASX:AAC)
have added 0.82 per cent after the meat marketer announced its current general marketing manager Jason Strong will take the reigns as Managing Director and CEO.
Shares in Panorama Synergy Limited (ASX:PSY)
have fallen 3.85 per cent after the technology company inked a five-year extension to its MEMS Technology Licensing Agreement with the University of Western Australia.
Shares in Red Mountain Mining Limited (ASX:RMX)
have extended this month’s climb after reporting what it describes as excellent metallurgy results from its Lobo Prospect in The Philippines. The gold exploration company has risen more than 20 per cent today and 360 per cent over this month.
Best and worst performers
The gold miners have boosted materials to the best performing sector, jumping 88 points to 10,133. Shares in Silver Lake Resources Limited (ASX:SLR)
have risen 9.17 per cent and trading at $0.66. Shares in Evolution (ASX:EVN)
and Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX:NCM)
are also stronger.
The worst performing sector is consumer discretionary, falling 15 points to 1,761. Shares in The Reject Shop Limited (ASX:TRS)
have tumbled 23.14 per cent, trading at $12.99. Shares in Crown Resorts Limited (ASX:CWN)
and Seven West Media Limited (ASX:SWM)
are also lower.
Gold and the dollar
The price of gold jumped $23.70 overnight and is sitting at $US1,262 an ounce.
The Australian dollar has weakened this morning to $US0.8758.