The Australian share market has continued on its downward spiral since the start of the week, with investors seeming to want to “sell in May and go away”, with the local bourse down 0.46 per cent at noon. We saw commodity prices get smashed overnight and as a result the Energy and Materials sectors are proving to be the biggest drag on the market. However a few sectors are bucking the trend today, Telcos being the shining light with Telstra (ASX:TLS) gaining more than 4 per cent after the ACCC announced its decision to not declare a wholesale domestic mobile roaming service.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 27 points down at 5,849. On the futures market the SPI is 27 points lower.
Japan’s Nikkei is closed, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.4 per cent and the Shanghai Composite is also down 0.4 per cent.
The Reserve Bank of Australia has released its Statement of Monetary Policy, following Tuesday’s decision to once again keep interest rates on hold at a record low of 1.5 per cent. The RBA says inflation will gradually increase over the next year or two, but low wage growth is continuing to hold inflation down.
Scentre Group Limited (ASX:SCG) has released its first quarter results to the market, saying comparable speciality sales for the year to the end of March 2017, were up 2.4 per cent. The shopping centre giant has maintained its guidance for full year growth in funds from operations of around 4.25 per cent. The distribution guidance of 21.73 cents per security has also been maintained. Shares in Scentre Group are trading down 2.07 per cent at $4.25.
AusCann Limited (ASX:AC8) has announced it has been granted a licence to cultivate medicinal cannabis in Australia. The company says the granting of the license by the Office of Drug control is a significant milestone which will enable it to become a leading supplier and producer of affordable medicinal cannabis products to Australian patients. AusCann says its now focussed primarily on revenue generation. Shares in AusCann are trading up 22.41 per cent at $0.71.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is Telcos, gaining 3.8 per cent to 1,529. Shares in Telstra (ASX:TLS) have risen 4.37 per cent and trading at $4.42. Shares in Vocus Group (ASX:VOC) and Chorus (ASX:CNU) are also stronger.
The worst performing sector is Energy, falling 1.9 per cent to 9,203. Shares in Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) have fallen 5.42 per cent, trading at $2.62. Shares in Worley Parsons (ASX:WOR) and Santos (ASX:STO) are also lower.
Oceana Healthcare Limited (ASX:OCA) started trading today. The aged care services provider floated with an issue price of $0.73, opened at $0.74 and is currently trading at $0.735.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,229 an ounce and the Australian dollar is buying $US0.7396.