It has been a disappointing start to the session for the Australian share market, following on from weak leads from Wall Street. The local bourse dropped like a stone at the open but has managed to regain some of those losses in the first two hours of trade, tracking 0.47 per cent lower at noon. The financials space along with materials are proving to be the biggest drag on the market with all of the big four banks in the red.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 25 points down at 5,590. On the futures market the SPI is 32 points lower.
The Reserve Bank of Australia will make its first rates decision for 2017 at 2.30 this afternoon, where once again rates are expected to remain on hold. The cash rate currently sits at a record low of 1.5 per cent.
Macquarie Group Limited (ASX:MQG) has maintained profit guidancefor 2017, expecting a similar result to last year’s $2.06 billion figure. The investment bank has described trading conditions across the Group as ‘satisfactory’ for December quarter 2016. Market conditions, along with foreign exchange have been cited as a couple of the main challenges for the Group. Shares in Macquarie Group are trading down 3.06 per cent at $81.37.
SCA Property Group (ASX:SCP) has reported a statutory net profit of $204.7 million for the half year, a 125.4 per cent increase on the same period last year. The shopping centre giant says Funds from Operations of $53.5 million was a 9.6 per cent increase on the last period. Shares in SCA Property Group are trading up 2.29 per cent at $2.23.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is Industrials, gaining 0.95 per cent to 4,995. Shares in Transurban (ASX:TCL) have risen 4.91 per cent and trading at $10.89. Shares in GWA Group (ASX:GWA) and CIMIC Group (ASX:CIM) are also stronger.
The worst performing sector is Financials, falling 1.21 per cent to 6,359. Shares in Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG) have fallen 3.06 per cent, trading at $81.37. Shares in Bendigo Bank (ASX:BEN) and Bank of Queensland (ASX:BOQ) are also lower.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,235 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7639.