Hump day: ASX just 0.06% higher at noon

Market Reports

by David Chau

The Australian share market is trading marginally higher this morning. Around mid-morning it briefly dipped into negative territory, but is now tracking just 0.06% higher around midday.

The big four banks, particularly Commonwealth Bank, and telcos such as TPG and Telstra are keeping the local bourse’s head above water.  Gold mining shares have also risen after the price of gold recovered overnight.  These gains are helping to offset losses in the energy sector and real estate investment trusts.

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 index was up 4 points to 5,737. On the futures market, the SPI is down 7 points.

Company news

SmartTrans Holdings Ltd (ASX:SMA) has executed a formal agreement with a Shanghai-listed digital marketing company to operate an e-commerce marketplace on WeChat, a popular social media platform in China. This online marketplace will sell premium Australian goods (like Burlee Ugg boots and Tim Adams Wines) to Chinese consumers, and is expected to go live this month. Shares in SmartTrans are trading 28% higher at 2 cents.

Hunter Hall International (ASX:HHL) has established an independent board committee to undertake a detailed review of Washington H. Soul Pattinson's (ASX:SOL) proposed off-market takeover. Soul Pattinson is expected to lodge a bidder’s statement with ASIC and Hunter hall by 13 January 2017. Shares in Hunter Hall are trading 0.4% lower at $2.49.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Telcos, gaining 1.1 per cent to 1,824. Shares in TPG Telecom have risen 3.65 per cent and trading at $7.10. Shares in Vocus Communications and Telstra are also stronger.

The sector with the least gains was Real Estate Investment Trusts, losing 1.16 per cent to 1,391. Shares in Mirvac Group have lost 1.85 per cent, trading at $2.12. Shares in Stockland and GPT Group are also lower.

Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,157 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7228.