Despite what was looking like a relatively flat open for the Australian share market this morning, the local bourse has plunged into the red in the first two hours of trade and is now tracking 0.4 per cent lower at lunchtime. We’ve continued to see a sell-off in the Energy space following continued weakness in oil prices, but Health Care is also performing poorly today, with the likes of CSL Limited (ASX:CSL) and Ramsay Health Care (ASX:RHC) slipping around 1.4 per cent. Consumer Discretionaries are bucking the trend but only just, with gains in Adairs (ASX:ADH) and JB Hi-Fi (ASX:JBH).
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 24 points down at 5,752. On the futures market the SPI is 25 points lower.
Perseus Mining Limited (ASX:PRU) has formally accepted an offer from Macquarie Bank to provide Perseus with a total of US$60 million of debt finance to be used to finance its growth strategy. The financing includes a US$40 million project debt facility that will be used to finance the Sissingue Gold Mine on the Ivory Coast. A second US$20 million debt facility has been offered to Perseus’ Ghanaian Subsidiary, Perseus Mining (Ghana) Limited. Shares in Perseus Mining are up 11.48 per cent at $0.34.
Rhinomed Limited (ASX:RNO) has gone into a trading halt pending the release of an announcement by the company. The medical technology company which specialises in breathing and nasal technology, says the announcement relates to a capital raising. Rhinomed’s shares will remain in a trading halt until Wednesday or when the announcement is released to the market. Shares in Rhinomed last traded at $0.02.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is Consumer Discretionaries, gaining 0.35 per cent to 2,128. Shares in Harvey Norman (ASX:HVN) have risen 3.54 per cent and trading at $5.12. Shares in Tabcorp Holdings (ASX:TAH) and Sky Network (ASX:SKT) are also stronger.
The worst performing sector is Energy, falling 0.97 per cent to 8,683. Shares in Santos (ASX:STO) have fallen 1.53 per cent, trading at $3.54. Shares in Oil Search (ASX:OSH) and Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) are also lower.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,205 an ounce and the Australian dollar is buying $US0.7539.