It has been a soft start to the trading session for the Australian share market today, despite the SPI futures pointing to a flat start. The local bourse plunged at the open and has continued to lose momentum in the first two hours of trade, tracking 0.17 per cent lower at noon.
Telcos, Energy and Health care are proving to be the biggest drag on the market so far with the likes of Telstra (ASX:TLS) and Metcash (ASX:MTS) seeing selling off. The Materials, Financials and Utilites sectors are however bucking the trend, with commodities strengthening its muscle.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 10 points down at 5,698. On the futures market the SPI is 15 points lower.
Local economic news
Trend dwelling approvals have risen for the third month, as the ABS’ leading indicator for the housing market, rose by 0.1 per cent in April. The Australia Bureau of Statistics' (ABS) data has shown that dwelling approvals were relatively stable in trend terms over the past three months, after the indicator fell from its record highs in mid-2016. Dwelling approvals are now 14% below the peak in May 2016.
To company news
Inghams Group Limited (ASX:ING) has extended its poultry supply agreement with Woolworths (ASX:WOW) Australian supermarkets until mid-2021. Ingham says the deal extends its supply relationship with Woolworths to over 60 years. The deal also supports Inghams' investment capability and capacity to meet market demands and growth. Inghams’ long term supply agreements now account for over 65 per cent of its Australian poultry volumes. Shares in Inghams Group Limited (ASX:ING) are trading 0.15 per cent lower at $3.33.
Global Construction Services (ASX:GCS) says its Gallery Facades business, has been awarded a $62 million contract by Lend Lease Building (ASX:LLC). The construction and maintenance business owns 51 per cent of Gallery Facades. Gallery Facades’ contracts involve supplying and installing high performance architecture facades to the Y3 project, Melbourne Quarter and Bendigo Hospital in Victoria. It will also work on another project in Darling Square in NSW. Shares Global Construction Services (ASX:GCS) are trading 1.77 per cent higher at 58 cents.
To the best and worst performers
The best performing sector is Materials, gaining 0.4 per cent to 9,759. Shares in Western Areas Limited (ASX:WSA) have risen 4.21 per cent and trading at $2.23. Shares in Resolute Mining Limited (ASX: RSG) and St Barbara Limited (ASX:SMB) are also stronger.
The worst performing sector is Telcos, falling 0.85 per cent to 1,537. Shares in Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX: TLS) have fallen 0.68 per cent, trading at $4.41. Shares in TPG Telecom Limited (ASX: TPM) and Vocus Group Limited (ASX: VOC) are also lower.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,270 an ounce and
The Australian dollar is buying 74.32 US cents.