Following a weaker lead from US markets, the Australian share market has followed suit this session, dropping at the open and now tracking 0.13 per cent lower at noon. Materials are proving to be the biggest drag on the market, led down by losses in the big miners and the gold stocks. The Telcos space is bucking the trend, with Telstra (ASX:TLS) gaining around 0.75 per cent. We have also seen some small gains in Financials excluding REITS and Consumer Staples.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 6 points down at 5,755. On the futures market the SPI is 8 points lower.
Lucapa Diamond Company Limited (ASX:LOM) and its partners Endiama and Rosas and Petalas have announced that the Lulo Alluvial diamond venture in Angola, Africa has declared US$8 million in a combined distribution and capital payment. Lucapa itself will be entitled to receive a gross amount of US$5.6 million. The diamond producer says the distribution and capital payment will provide a potential source of funding for its Mothae kimberlite project in Lesotho. Shares in Lucapa are trading up 2.74 per cent at $0.38.
Bubs Australia Limited (ASX:BUB) has announced that it has entered into a supply agreement with Costco Wholesale Corporation to range Bubs infant formula products in its national catalogue. Costco currently has 8 warehouses around the country, with around 150,000 wholesale memberships. Bubs has also recently announced it has expanded its footprint across Coles stores, Chemist Warehouse and other discount pharmacy distributors. Shares in Bubs Australia are trading up 6.76 per cent at $0.20.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is Telcos, gaining 0.6 per cent to 1,651. Shares in Telstra (ASX:TLS) have risen 0.54 per cent and trading at $4.67. Shares in Spark NZ (ASX:SPK) are higher and TPG Telecom (ASX:TPM) are lower.
The worst performing sector is Materials, falling 0.9 per cent to 9,891. Shares in Alumina (ASX:AWC) have fallen 3.33 per cent, trading at $1.89. Shares in Saracen Minerals (ASX:SAR) and Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR) are also lower.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,217 an ounce and the Australian dollar is buying $US0.7597.