Despite dropping into negative territory just after the open, the Australian share market has managed to fight its way back into the black and is now tracking 0.2 per cent higher at noon. While most sectors are mixed at the moment, the materials and energy sectors are proving to be the biggest drag on the market, with Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) shedding close to 2 per cent and BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) losing about 1.3 per cent at the moment.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 12 points up at 5,658. On the futures market the SPI is 8 points higher.
Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR) has announced the appointment of Shaun Verner as Managing Director and CEO effective immediately. Mr Verner has been with the graphite development company since October last year, and previously spent 20 years at BHP Billiton in various executive roles. His appointment comes after an exhaustive four month global search. Shares in Syrah Resources are trading up 1.91 per cent at $3.20.
CresoPharma Limited (ASX:CPH) has signed a Letter of Intent with Western-Australian based pharma Health House International for the import and sale of medicinal cannabis products in Australia. Health House will intiailly conduct a trial importation of cannabis oil products from Canadian-based third parties introduced by Creso. Shares in CresoPharma are trading down 7.69 per cent at $0.24.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is Healthcare, gaining 1.46 per cent to 20,987. Shares in Sirtex Medical (ASX:SRX) have risen 2.55 per cent and trading at $14.66. Shares in Fisher and Paykel Health (ASX:FPH) and Ramsay Health (ASX:RHC) are also stronger.
The worst performing sector is Materials, falling 0.82 per cent to 10,249. Shares in James Hardie (ASX:JHX) have fallen 3.41 per cent, trading at $20.14. Shares in Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) and Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) are also lower.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,213 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7650.