The Australian share market has defied strong leads from Wall Street and opened in negative territory this morning. The local bourse has continued to dive deeper into the red in the first two hours of trade and is now tracking 0.2% lower at noon.
At the start of trade, the ASX 200 was just 4 points short of hitting the 5,900 mark. But, if it doesn’t drop too much further, it should be on track to post a solid 2% gain since the start of this week.
Most sectors are lagging in the red with A-REITs falling the hardest this session. When it comes to those flexing their muscles, Utilites, Telcos and Healthcare are the only shiners so far.
Investors are also keeping their eyes on key Chinese manufacturing data, which is set to be released later today. That might just also affect how the local bourse finishes this afternoon.
The ASX 200 index has shed 13 points to 5,884 On the futures market the SPI is 2 points lower.
The South Australian government has called for expressions of interest for utility scale battery energy storage solutions. Australia’s largest designer and integrator of utility scale batteries, Carnegie Clean Energy (ASX:CCE) responded to the government and is teaming up with Samsung and Lendlease for the opportunity. Carnegie says if its chosen Lendlease will be core to the delivery of the project, as it has already has manpower in South Australia and delivers distribution network construction and maintenance services. When it comes to Samsung, it’s a world leader in supplying lithium ion battery cells and was commissioned for the world’s largest battery storage facility in California. Shares in Carnegie are tracking 5.8% higher at 7 cents.
The merger between digital printing company, PMP Ltd (ASX:PMP) and its competitor IPMG is currently underway. PMP announced this morning that the former IPMG print facility at Noble Park, Melbourne, will close today, which will result in 100 redundancies. PMP says it will try to redeploy the redundant staff to the Clayton site, while it continues to “work constructively” with the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union throughout the process. Shares in PMP are trading steady at 68 cents.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is Utilities, gaining 1.04 per cent to 8,702. Shares in APA Group (ASX:APA) have risen 0.83 per cent and trading at $9.06. Shares Duet Group (ASX:DUE) and AusNet (ASX:AST) are also stronger.
The worst performing sector is REITS, losing 0.82% to 1,389. Shares in Charter Hall Retail (ASX:CQR) have fallen 1.91 per cent, trading at $4.36. Shares in Growth Point Properties (ASX:GOZ) and Abacus Property Group (ASX:ABP) are also lower.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,243 an ounce, and the Australian dollar is buying 76.46 US cents.