Financials fall: Aus shares 0.74% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Carolyn Herbert

Despite a Wall Street rally on Friday, thanks to the tech space; the Australian share market has failed to follow suit at the start of this trading week. The local bourse dropped into the red at the open and has continued to lose momentum in the first two hours of trade, tracking 0.74 per cent lower at noon. Financials are proving to be the biggest drag on the market so far with all of the big four banks shedding between 1.5 and 2 per cent. We’ve also seen losses in Energy and Materials. Utilities are the star performer so far with gains of more than 0.5 per cent, and we’ve also seen some buying in REITS.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 43 points down at 5,745. On the futures market the SPI is 33 points lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.05 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is flat and the Shanghai Composite is down 0.25 per cent.

Economic news

According to latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics gross operating profits for companies in Australia rose 6 per cent for the March quarter, seasonally adjusted. We also saw a recovery in the mining sector with gross operating profits rising 13 per cent, seasonally adjusted.

Company news

Spotless Group Holdings Limited (ASX:SPO) has continued to recommend that its shareholders reject Downer EDI’s takeover bid for the company. Downer has made an announcement regarding a potential variation to the minimum acceptance condition of its takeover offer. The Spotless board says Downer is trying to stimulate some momentum for their offer, but says the Downer offer fails to reflect adequate value for the company. Shares in Spotless Group are trading down 0.22 per cent at $1.14.

NSL Consolidated Limited (ASX:NSL) says sales of wet plant iron ore production from its Phase Two Wet Beneficiation Plant have now commenced. The company has confirmed regular payments and iron ore dispatches are now expected and it will be ramping up to 200,000 tonnes per annum plant capacity of final concentrate. Shares in NSL Consolidated are trading up 7.69 per cent at $0.028.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Utilities, gaining 0.5 per cent to 9,076. Shares in AGL Energy (ASX:AGL) have risen 1.27 per cent and trading at $26.26. Shares in Infigen Energy (ASX:IFN) and Spark Infrastructure (ASX:SKI) are also stronger.

The worst performing sector is Financials, falling 1.7 per cent to 6,308. Shares in Bendigo and Adelaide Bank (ASX:BEN) have fallen 4.07 per cent, trading at $10.73. Shares in FlexiGroup (ASX:FXL) and Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC) are also lower.

Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,280 an ounce and the Australian dollar is buying $US0.7449.


Carolyn Herbert

Finance News Network
Carolyn joined FNN in August 2015 as the Head of News and also presented the Market at Midday and the Market Wrap. With more than five years of broadcast journalism experience, Carolyn has worked as a finance anchor on the Sky News Business channel and as an anchor and reporter for ABC News. She is also a qualified corporate lawyer specialising in IPOs, takeovers and mergers and acquisitions.