It has been a lack lustre start to this Wednesday trading session, with the Australian share market shedding its initial gains at the open and now tracking practically flat or 0.05 per cent higher at noon. Consumer Staples and Telcos are proving to be the biggest drag on the market so far, with losses of around 0.7 per cent. Materials and Energy are bucking the trend, with the big miners BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) and Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) soaring around 2.5 per cent.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 3 points up at 5,860. On the futures market the SPI is 4 points higher.
Tokyo’s Nikkei is up 0.31 per cent,Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.35 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.4 per cent.
Scentre Group Limited (ASX:SCG) chairman Brian Schwarz has updated the market on the shopping centre giant’s outlook for 2017. The Group forecasts funds from operations growth of around 4.25 per cent and underlying FFO growth of 5 per cent. The 2017 distribution is forecast to be 21.73 cents per security, an increase of 2 per cent. Shares in Scentre Group are trading up 0.11 per cent at $4.38.
Beston Global Food Company Limited (ASX:BFC) has secured a contract to supply a major National Australian Wholesaler with a range of its manufactured food products. The full range to be provided is of 5 “Edwards Crossing” cheeses and 6 “Mables” products. Given the timing of the orders the revenue impact for BFC will primarily be seen in the next financial year and beyond. Shares in BFC are trading down 1.96 per cent at $0.25.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is Materials, gaining 1.58 per cent to 9,947. Shares in Independence Group (ASX:IGO) have risen 3.95 per cent and trading at $3.68. Shares in Oz Minerals (ASX:OZL) and Western Areas (ASX:WSA) are also stronger.
The worst performing sector is Telcos, falling 0.71 per cent to 1,637. Shares in Telstra (ASX:TLS) have fallen 0.75 per cent, trading at $4.63. Shares in Vocus (ASX:VOC) and TPG Telecom (ASX:TPM) are also lower.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,255 an ounce and the Australian dollar is buying $US0.7572.