It has been a lack lustre start to the trading day for the Australian share market, struggling for direction in the first two hours of trade and tracking practically flat or 0.01 per cent higher at noon. In terms of various sector performance losses in the Energy space are counteracting further gains in Financials and Industrials. Consumer Discretionaries and Utilities are also proving to be a drag on the local bourse.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is flat at 5,912. On the futures market the SPI is 3 points higher.
Checking in with how Asian markets are tracking now, Japan’s Nikkei is up 1.1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Sengis up 0.5 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.2 per cent.
Orocobre Limited (ASX:ORE) says Phase One drilling will commence early next week at its flagship lithium property, the Cauchari Project in Argentina. The lithium producer says Phase One will be a five hole program and Phase Two drilling is planned for later in the year, comprising a further 12 holes. The Cauchari Project lies 20 kilometres south of Orocobre’s producing Olaroz Lithium Facility. Shares in Orocobre are trading up 2.19 per cent at $2.80.
Freelancer Limited (ASX:FLN) has delivered cash receipts of $12.5 million, up 20 per cent on a rolling 12 month basis compared the prior period. For the first three months of FY17operating cash flow was positive $2.1 million. The company says projects posted on mobile experienced exceptional growth of 79 per cent in the quarter year on year. Shares in Freelancer are trading down 2.48 per cent at $0.79.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is Industrials, gaining 0.6 per cent to 5,449. Shares in Qantas (ASX:QAN) have risen 3.12 per cent and trading at $4.13. Shares in Brambles (ASX:BXB) and Downer EDI (ASX:DOW) are also stronger.
The worst performing sector is Energy, falling 2.1 per cent to 9,156. Shares in Santos (ASX:STO) have fallen 6.32 per cent, trading at $3.41. Shares in Origin Energy (ASX:ORG) and Woodside (ASX:WPL) are also lower.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,267 an ounce and the Australian dollar is buying $US0.7471.