Energy rises, but Aus shares 0.23% lower at noon

Market Reports

by David Chau

Without a lead to follow from Wall Street, which was closed for Labor Day, the Australian share market has plunged at the open and is now tracking 0.23 per cent lower at noon.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is down 12 points at 5,417. On the futures market the SPI is 9 points lower.

Economic news

The Reserve Bank will meet for its September board meeting at 2.30 this afternoon. After interest rates were cut to a record low of 1.5 per cent last month, the general consensus is the central bank will keep interest rates on hold.

Company news

Ellex Medical Lasers Ltd (ASX:ELX) will launch a new product at a congress of eye surgeons next week in Copenhagen, Denmark. The new product is the ‘Eye One’, a portable ultrasound platform which is 2/3 the size of its Eye Cubed device, and 40% of its weight. Ellex says ultrasound is a key revenue component for the company, and that ultrasound revenue rose 18% to $10 million in FY16. Shares in Ellex are trading steady at $1.10.

Ruralco Holdings Ltd (ASX:RHL) has announced that its director and chairman, Richard England, has resigned after 14 years on the board of directors. The company has now appointed a new non-executive director and chairman, Rick Lee (who is also a non-executive director of Oil Search and Newcrest Mining). Shares in Ruralco are trading steady at $3.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Energy, gaining 0.15 per cent to 8,403. Shares in Whitehaven Coal have risen 5 per cent and trading at $2.10. Shares in Woodside Petroleum and WorleyParsons are also stronger.

The worst performing sector is Utilities, falling 0.79 per cent to 7,431. Shares in AGL Energy have fallen 1.89 per cent, trading at $18.20. Shares in Duet Group and AusNet Services are also lower. i

Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,326 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7622.