Uncertain start: Aus shares 0.41% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

It has been a lack lustre start to the Wednesday trading session for the Australian share market, with the local bourse falling into the red at the open and tracking sideways in the first two hours of trade, losing 0.41 per cent.

The majority of sectors are in the red this session with REITs and Utilities leading the losses. Only a few sectors are bucking the trend, being Materials and Telcos with some modest gains in the big miners BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) and Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO).

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 23 points down at 5,760.

On the futures market the SPI is 23 points lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.6 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has fallen 0.7 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has dipped 0.01 per cent.

To company news

Ingenia Communities Group Limited (ASX:INA) says it has closed FY17 with a record 211 new home settlements, exceeding its target of 190. The lifestyle communities provider says the result underpins delivery of the Group’s FY17 EBIT guidance of $30 million. Due to recent and pending acquisitions, Ingenia expects to better its EBIT in FY18 with a target of $42 -$46 million. Shares in Ingenia Communities Group are 1.89 per cent lower at $2.59

St Barbara Limited (ASX:SBM) says it has exceeded its FY17 production guidance, producing more than 381 thousand ounces for the year. The gold producer says it experienced a strong final quarter, with the result around 5 per cent higher than the same time last year. St Barbara says its balance sheet remains strong with $161 million in cash and no debt. Shares in St Barbara are 0.9 per cent lower at $2.75

The best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Materials, gaining 0.38 per cent to 9,927. Shares in Galaxy Resources Limited (ASX:GXY) have risen 4.07 per cent and trading at $1.79. Shares in Alumina Limited (ASX:AWC) and Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX:FMG) are also stronger.

The worst performing sector is Reits, falling 1.73 per cent to 1,299. Shares in Westfield Corporation (ASX:WFD) have fallen 2.45 per cent, trading at $7.95. Shares in Abacus Property Group (ASX:ABP) and Charter Hall Group (ASX:CHC) are also lower.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,228 an ounce and one Australian dollar is buying 76.18 US cents.

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