In the red: Aus shares 0.78% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Carolyn Herbert

Following mixed leads from Wall Street, the Australian share market seems to be struggling for direction so far this session. The local bourse fell into the red at the open and has been tracking sideways in the first two hours of trade, losing 0.78 per cent at noon. While most sectors are in negative territory, Health Care and Consumer Staples are leading the losses, followed by Utilities. The Materials space is the shining light this session with some small gains in the big miners and in gold stocks.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 44 points down at 5,685. On the futures market the SPI is 49 points lower.

Asian markets

Checking in with how Asian markets are tracking now, Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.9 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.2 per cent.

Economic news

According to the latest data from Westpac, Australian consumer confidence has rebounded in July by 0.4 per cent to a reading of 96.6. This is compared to an almost two per cent decline in June. It’s the first time in three months the index has risen.

Company news

Oventus Medical Limited (ASX:OVN) says it has received FDA 510k clearance for its O2 Vent W – winged or dorsal flex oral appliance. The appliance is intended to reduce snoring and treat mild to moderate sleep apnoea. The company says the clearance is an important milestone and it will focus on ramping up its US sales. Shares in Oventus Medical are trading up 7.69 per cent at $0.35.

Adairs Limited (ASX:ADH) says it will achieve the upper end of its FY17 guidance, thanks to a strong final quarter. The bedding and homewares retailer says its full year EBIT will come in between $30.5 million and $31 million. Total sales are expected to reach $140.4 million, an 8.3 per cent increase on the previous corresponding period. Shares in Adairs are trading up 33.68 per cent at $1.27.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Materials, gaining 0.2 per cent to 10,073. Shares in Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG) have risen 2.94 per cent and trading at $1.14. Shares in St Barbara (ASX:SBM) and Saracen Minerals (ASX:SAR) are also stronger.

The worst performing sector is Health Care, falling 1.4 per cent to 22,968. Shares in Nanosonics (ASX:NAN) have fallen 2.71 per cent, trading at $2.33. Shares in Regis Healthcare (ASX:REG) and Australian Pharmaceuticals (ASX:API) are also lower.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,219 an ounce and the Australian dollar is buying $US0.7653.


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