Flat Friday: Aus shares 0.03% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Carolyn Herbert

Despite a more positive finish from Wall Street on Thursday, the Australian share market is really struggling for direction this session and is currently tracking flat or 0.03% lower at lunchtime. The materials space is proving to be the biggest drag on the market so far this session, with the gold stocks faring the worst today after the price of the precious metal plunged around US$30 per ounce overnight.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is flat at 5,538. On the futures market the SPI is 5 points lower.

Company news

Crown Resorts Limited (ASX:CWN) has entered into further agreements in respect of its shareholding in Melco Crown Entertainment, which together with the sale to Melco International Development reduce the company’s shareholding to 11.2 per cent of MCE shares. It has also entered into an underwriting agreement for the sale of 40.9 million MCE shares. Following completion, the sale to Melco and sale to the public will generate net proceeds to Crown of around $1.9 billion. Shares in Crown Resorts are trading up 1.85 per cent at $11.58.

Investa Office Fund Limited (ASX:IOF) says a strong value uplift is expected for the IOF portfolio as at 31 December 2016. Draft external valuations show an indicative increase of $150 million to $160 million or 8 to 8.6 per cent of book value. The company says this has been primarily driven by the continued strength in the Sydney property market.Shares in Investa Office Fund are trading up 2 per cent at $4.59.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is REITs, gaining 0.29 per cent to 1,338. Shares in Investa Office Fund (ASX:IOF) have risen 2 per cent and trading at $4.59. Shares in BWP Trust (ASX:BWP) and SCA Property Group (ASX:SCA) are also stronger.

The worst performing sector is Materials, falling 0.48 per cent to 9,547. Shares in Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG) have fallen 6.94 per cent, trading at $1.01. Shares in Saracen Minerals (ASX:SAR) and Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) are also lower.

IPOs

Forager Australian Shares Fund Limited (ASX:FOR) started trading today. The listed investment company floated with an issue price of $1.57, opened at $1.81 and is currently trading at $1.80. Murray River Organics (ASX:MRG) also started trading today. It listed at $1.30, opened at $1.32 and is currently trading at $1.27.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,129 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7353.


 

Carolyn Herbert

Finance News Network
Carolyn joined FNN in August 2015 as the Head of News and also presents the Market at Midday and the Market Wrap. With more than five years of broadcast journalism experience, Carolyn has worked as a finance anchor on the Sky News Business channel and as an anchor and reporter for ABC News. She is also a qualified corporate lawyer specialising in IPOs, takeovers and mergers and acquisitions.