It was looking like a disappointing trading day for the Australian share market today, but the local bourse has made a turnaround about an hour into the session, jumping back into positive territory and tracking 0.32 per cent higher at noon. The Utilities space is faring the best so far, followed by gains in the Healthcare sector. However the materials space is proving to be the biggest drag on the market, after a fall in the iron ore price overnight due to stockpiles in China building up.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 19 points higher at 5,765. On the futures market the SPI is 28 points higher.Economic news
The Reserve Bank of Australia is once again expected to keep interest rates on hold at a record low of 1.5 per cent, when it meets for its March board meeting later this afternoon. Reserve Bank Governor Phillip Lowe has previously stated that inflation is yet to meet the bank’s target band of 2 to 3 per cent.Company news
Villa World Limited (ASX:VLW)
has announced that it has agreed to purchase a 42 hectare site in Clyde, in the south east corridor of Melbourne. The site is 55 kilometres from the Melbourne CBD and located in close proximity to transport, education and retail precincts. The residential property developer will purchase the site for $33 million, with settlement anticipated to occur in the first half of 2018. Shares in Villa World are trading down 0.99 per cent at $2.50.
Magellan Financial Group Limited (ASX:MFG)
has announced that its funds under management at the end of February have totalled $46.75 billion. The Australian fund manager recently reported a 20 per cent fall in operating profit to $87 million and a 16 per cent decline in revenue to $153.5 million. Shares in Magellan are trading up 0.09 per cent at $23.37.Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is Utilities, gaining 1.06 per cent to 8,340. Shares in AGL (ASX:AGL)
have risen 1.57 per cent and trading at $25.25. Shares in APA Group (ASX:APA)
and Spark Infrastructure (ASX:SPK)
are also stronger.
The worst performing sector is Materials, falling 0.37 per cent to 9,990. Shares in Regis Resources (ASX:RRL)
have fallen 5.57 per cent, trading at $3.05. Shares in Orocobre (ASX:ORE)
and Saracen Minerals (ASX:SAR)
are also lower.Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,225 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7589.